Episode 1037 – GM to Buy Back Stock, China Not Keen on EVs, New VP of Purchasing at GM

December 19th, 2012 at 11:56am

Runtime: 7:44

General Motors announced this morning it’s going to buy 200 million shares of its stock from the U.S. Treasury. We’ve looked at the sales numbers for hybrids and electric cars in China, and they’re miserably low. GM just appointed a new vice president of purchasing, Grace Lieblein. All that and more, plus host John McElroy gets to your questions and comments in this week’s edition of You Said It!

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Thanks for joining us today as we take a look at the latest developments in the global automotive industry.

General Motors announced this morning it’s going to buy 200 million shares of its stock from the US Treasury. GM will buy the shares for $27.50, well above where they’ve been languishing for over a year. The company will lay out $5.5 billion to buy these shares. But it still won’t shake the Government Motors label with this move. The government will continue to hold 300 million GM shares, but it says it will start selling them over a 12 to 15 month period starting in January. GM stock jumped 10% on the news.

Well it took nearly three months, but GM finally figured out who to put in charge of its massive purchasing operations. Grace Lieblein, 52 years old, is the new vice president of purchasing at GM, which oversees a budget of about $100 billion a year. Remember this name. Though she’s been with GM her entire career, starting as a co-op student, Grace Lieblein has been rocketing up the corporate ladder recently. A decade ago she was chief engineer on GM’s Lambda platform, the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse. Today she’s one of the senior most officers in the company. And somebody out there correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe she is the first woman to head up purchasing at any car company.

We’ve been reporting for years on the high cost of license plates in some major Chinese cities. Here’s the latest. A new license plate in Shanghai now costs $11,000 about the same price as a Toyota Yaris in China. And that makes car sales in China all the more impressive.

Speaking of China, we’ve got the latest sales numbers on hybrids and electric cars in China, and they’re miserably low. Only 10,000 of them will sold in the country this year. The figure is just for Chinese made vehicles since import sales aren’t significant enough to count. Interestingly the Toyota Prius is the top selling hybrid despite not receiving any government subsidies.

We all knew Ford was putting a diesel engine in the U.S. version of the Transit van. What we didn’t know is that diesel will come from South Africa. The 3.2 Liter 5-cylinder Duratorq diesel is built at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. If sales of the engine go well we have to wonder if we’ll see it in an F-Series truck.

Coming up next, You Said It!

jack879 heard us report on GM’s sky-high inventory levels, but wants to know, “How many days of inventory does GM have with cars, not counting pickup trucks?” It’s a scary number, Jack. GM has 111 days of inventory of passenger cars. Cadillac is at 143, Buick is at 120 and Chevrolet at 105. At this time of year, because it varies from winter to summer, an automaker that’s running its production schedule properly should have about 70 days of inventory.

C-Tech heard us talking about Michigan, the home of the UAW, has now become a right-to-work state and wants to know, “What does right-to-work really mean? It seems these laws are more rights-to-management-to-do-whatever-to-employees.” C-Tech, right to work means you don’t have to join a union if you don’t want to. And, you don’t have to pay any dues or fees to a union if you don’t want to. Up to now, if you wanted to get an hourly job at GM, Ford or Chrysler you had to join the UAW. Soon, in Michigan, you can choose whether you want to join or not.

Jim Bielecki is asking, “Is the Silverado still a cam-in-block engine with pushrods?” Yes, the latest generation of small block V-8 from GM still uses a pushrod design. And while many people consider that passé, remember that these engines tend to be more compact, lighter, significantly cheaper to manufacture, and easier to adapt to cylinder deactivation.

Bradley is wondering what goes into choosing the North American Car of The Year award. “Should how the car is marketed be considered in assessing COTY?” Nope, it’s all about the car, it’s styling, quality, performance, and fuel economy, not about the advertising or marketing.

And Bob Aubertin, like many people is stupefied. He wants to know, “How can a Ford C-Max & Madza CX-5 be even close to resembling a truck? Who sets the criteria?” Bob, in this case, the government does. Both those vehicles are classified as trucks for fuel economy purposes. But I can assure you, every year the NACTOY jury has a slam-bang, drag ‘em out argument over what vehicle should go in which category.

Aliisdad wants to know, “Why are there still two ‘truck’ divisions at GM? How many people REALLY need a large pickup?” Ali, the government wanted to kill off GMC when it restructured General Motors. They wanted to kill it off, that is, until they saw how much profit it generates.

And now your take on those horns that honk when you lock your car with the remote. T. Bejma points out, “Just about every single GM vehicle sold today (might be every one) has the ability to customize the signal for the door locks with the Driver Information Center, so eliminating the horn is as simple as scrolling through a few menu items.”

And Seth says, “Sorry John but you’re wrong about the horn. I listen for my horn to beep all of the time. Also my vehicle, a Ford Excursion, will make a different horn beep if any of the doors aren’t completely closed.” So there you have the other side of the story.

Thanks for all your letters and comments, we appreciate getting them.

Coming up next month we’ll be webcasting live from the Detroit Auto Show. We want to thank Chrysler for hosting us at its display stand and we’ll be bringing you the latest news from the show on January 14th and 15th, and a surprise webcast on the 17th. More details to follow.

And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching we’ll see you tomorrow.

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87 Comments to “Episode 1037 – GM to Buy Back Stock, China Not Keen on EVs, New VP of Purchasing at GM”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was in Shanghai in 1994, and there were too many cars, even then. It is quite understandable that the “powers that be” want to discourage car ownership in the city.

    When I was there, they were starting to build a subway system. I don’t know how comprehensive it is by now, but I suspect there is little reason to even have a car in that city, except for taxis.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For people who have, and are willing to spend way too much money on a car, here is a cool wagon:


  3. HtG Says:

    Dateline Schloss Scheisseberg

    Former Porsche boss Wedeking indicted for market manipulieren.


  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    Heard today that Leno may be out of the late show, if so will he have to sell off some of his toys? Boy, there’s just no job security anywhere, is it? BTW NICE Wagon imagine showing up a soccer practice on that thing?

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports no more GM hybrid trucks, I guess they realized no one was buying into that BS, plainly speaking truck buyers do not put fuel efficiency high on their priorities list.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I disagree Pedro,truck buyers do want more fuel efficient trucks,but not pie-in-the-sky complex hybrids.Or diesels because most don’t need 3/4 ton or larger pickups.Speaking of the latter,after extensive google searching on mpg numbers for the “new clean diesels” mpg ratings,it is in the crapper.All because of all the pollution devices that are mandated.Anybody that researches this out prior to making a diesel purchase will think more then twice before pulling the trigger.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    BTW,I was/am referring to diesel pickup trucks,not cars…

  8. C-Tech Says:

    Chief Engineer on the Lambda platform! She got some explaining to do to a BUNCH of GM techs! It is one of the most disliked designs in terms of repair and maintence

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    Hmmmnnn . As of 12/14/12 GM’s total debt to the US tax payer was $27.2 billion ( WSJ NYTimes Reuters ) Looking at todays news I’m afraid the numbers simply do not add up … with that $5.5 billion GM is laying out barely making a dent … well OK its just under 1/5th … but still in light of GM’s current business moves I’m betting We’ll ( US tax payer ) be right back up to still having some $25 billion plus owed us in no time

  10. C-Tech Says:

    @ #5 The GM hybrid trucks shared components with the SUV’s (Tahoe, Escalade) and Chrysler’s Big SUV’s (The previous gen Aspen and Durango). All have been dropped with a new generation. It was inevitable that GM would do the same, especially given the mileage improvement with their gas engine drivetrains.

  11. ColoradoKid Says:


    Methinks in reality the Futures speculators / Hedge Fund managers are simply expressing their extreme envy because of the fact that Weideking Out Smarted the little thieves at their own game …. seeing as how they’ve been doing the same if not worse for decades and no prosecution for them .

    Then toss in Peich’s multi decades old excessive hatred / jealousy/envy ( its a family thing ) etc for all things Porsche till he finally took them over ( thinking Porsche was his to run from day one ) and I think that pretty much explains why Weideking & Co is in court and all those Hedge Fund managers etc are not .


    Dost thou agree good sir ?

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The GM hybrid C15 2WD got 20 mpg EPA city, vs 15 for the best of the non-hybrids, the 5.3/6-speed auto. That’s 33% better, and at that lowish mpg range, savings would add up, but not enough to justify the extra initial price, ~$4000, as I remember.

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    Nobody’s ‘ Keen ‘ on E/V’s

    Anywhere !

    And for good reasons . They’re too expensive and they do not work

  14. W L Simpson Says:

    Why 5 ? —–5 cyl anything rattles my gizzard

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just looked it up, as best I could, and it appears that, for 2012 model year, the only way you could get the Silverado hybrid was as an expensive, mid- or high-trim crew cab. You couldn’t get a hybrid “work truck,” which might well be used in city driving where the hybrid would save the most gas.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They probably do a “modular” engine, and make different sizes by changing the number of cylinders.

  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 14

    We gotta get you into an Audi TTRS or better yet one of the original uR Quattros .. or my personal favorite the Porsche developed Audi RS2 .

    Then you’d see why 5 cylinders …. when they’re done right that is 8)

  18. HtG Says:

    11 At least Porsche makes good cars. You’d have thought the Hedge funds would have had some reliable inside info before they got into their trade. (Hi Preeht, nothing to see here officer)

  19. HtG Says:

    Asphalt follies

    Young woman jogging on the right side of the road, with traffic. Headphones in. Nice ass lady, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to it.

    On the highway. Female holding phone to right ear, gesticulating with left hand. Steering wheel, freebirding. Iphone, Mini.

    One trip. This is why I have a harder time caring at all.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From my limited experience in China, in Shanghai, there is barely any place to park a car, much less, plug in an electric. In the “countryside,” where there are some single family houses, you might be able to plug one in, but you’d be in a place where an EV wouldn’t have enough range to be useful.

    Pure EV’s are a small niche, and will remain so for quite a while. They work as commuter vehicles for some people, but they are just too expensive to be cost-effective.

  21. HtG Says:

    19 cont’d.

    Iphone 4S. It was that blatant

  22. W L Simpson Says:

    Petey, I don’t watch leno unless he’s caressing a fender , but if he’s leaving lateshow , it’s because it’s interfering with his autolove.

  23. ColoradoKid Says:

    #18 – Some of us ( private investors ) did ;-)

  24. HtG Says:

    better not have done anything with it

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    Best automotive laugh of 2012 to date ( since HtG’s on a role today )

    Yesterday . Went to a mall we rarely if ever go to ( actually we rarely go to any mall but thats another story ) A very very suburban mall replete with a parking lot full of SUV’s and Minivans I might add .

    And what do I encounter about half way down said mall ?

    And entire storefront dedicated to …… TESLA

    Wrong mall . Wrong audience . Wrong State . But it sure had me howling

    Oh and on todays news …. another gut buster . It seems Cadillac is going ahead with its VOLT clone . How nice . Now GM can have Chevy Volts , Opel Ampera’s …. and Cadillac’s rebadged Volt collecting dust on the dealers lots and costing the American tax payer even more money . Hmmmn . Maybe I should be crying and not laughing over that one . Errrr… maybe both seeing as how GM and Tesla are both tax payer subsidized

    Snif ! See ! I just ruined my own entire day .

    Hmmmn . Maybe T Bejima will come along to tell me the Cadillac isn’t a Volt in Caddy drag to brighten my spirits . Sorry T. Cheap shot I know . I likes ya and all but a mans gotta do what a …..

  26. T. Bejma Says:


    In order for the government to lose another $5B on their remaining 300M shares the stock would have to drop to about $9/share… Not likely with the continued trend of profitable quarters (what, 12 in a row now?), reduced pension obligation, cost cutting in Europe, more well received product (like ATS, XTS, Verano, Sonic, Spark, etc.) and the increase in liquid assets (about $38B as of today). No CK, that kind of stuff tends to make the stock price go UP…

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA I stand corrected, but in the rough and tough world of pickups (for people who actually need them) there is no room for the complicated and expensive to own/fix hybrid systems, I guess they’re ok for passenger cars, but not work trucks, I for one would rather not have a hybrid with all the heavy duty, high mileage use I need

  28. T. Bejma Says:


    Cadillac ELR is based on the Volt platform but does not look ANYTHING like a Volt (2 Door vs. 4 just to start), but wait until start hearing about the powertrain goodies. Volt is a very respectable performer as it is…

    Like the Volt, Opel Ampera sales are doing very well, in their segment. Both are leading. Not huge volumes (but no one should have expected that) but they are beating everything else very easily…


  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe Volt should have been a Cadillac to begin with, given the price. The ELR being a 2 door, though, puts it in a different market.

    TB, do you have any guesses on the price of the ELR?

  30. gmveteran Says:

    The main reason the GM hybrid pickups (and SUV’s) did not sell well is because of their pricing. The powertrain was not available on the lower trim, work trucks due to its cost. With a starting price of $50,000, its no mystery why they sold so few. I am sure the dealers who had to pay floorplan on those trucks for their long stays on the lot won’t miss them a bit.

    I think a diesel, or small displacement turbo diesel in a light duty truck would be very interesting. I think all of the big three are studying that as an option. Not sure if it would help them achieve their CAFE targets or not. Isn’t that what VW was crying about? I also think there is a good chance that there will be a small diesel option in the upcoming Colorado/Canyon, perhaps not right at launch but within its first year on the market.

  31. HtG Says:

    30 Sean Hannity couldn’t stop praising his Hybrid SUV a few years ago.

    There’s a satisfied customer.

    (yup, I have a radio)

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    #31 Is it HD? is it satellite? does it have any knobs? can you use your voice command to change stations?

  33. T. Bejma Says:


    No, I don’t have any info on ELR pricing (I don’t work in marketing but would like to someday ;-) ) but the articles I have seen are guessing about $60K. Cadillac XLR (Corvette in Cadillac clothes) was around that price so it doesn’t sound unreasonable.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From the Chevy web site, the Silverado hybrid starts at “only” $40,885, and is sold only as a “crew cab.” I suppose the power train is expensive enough, that if they offered it in a short bed, standard cab “work truck,” it would cost over $30K, while the base work truck with a V6 is under $22,085 with current rebates, which the hybrid doesn’t have.

  35. HtG Says:

    32 Once again, Pedro, the milk

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If Sean Hannity liked them, I guess I wouldn’t. Did he have the Escalade?

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, I think the Escalade is for Democrats only, Republicans prefer GMC or Chevy.

  38. HtG Says:

    37 Also a listener, Pedro?

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You think? The only Escalade driver I have known personally was a Republican who actually held public office (county council) in Indiana.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Probably most Escalade drivers are NFL players and rap musicians, and you don’t know most of their political leanings.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    I watch on Fox oops! now I’ve done it, a latino republican? here comes the hate mail. #40 is that a joke?

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    Actually for the record, I am an independent. I find party bickering pointless and harmful to the nation.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s not completely a joke. I’m sure a large majority of Escalade drivers are not NFL and rap types, but Escalades are way over-represented among those groups, or so I’ve heard.

  44. Dave Moore Says:

    The 3.2-litre turbodiesel five is already being used in the Thai-built JV Ford Ranger and Mazda BT50 pickup. The engine is effectively a Transit four-cylinder diesel with an extra pot. It’s a real smoothie with bags of torque and hooks up nicely to a six-speed automatic.
    On the subject of Ford diesels, this in-line five would have slipped straight into the Australian Falcon sedan and Territory to keep emissions averages down, but several years spent re-engineering the Territory SUV for the PSA/Jag/LR 2.7L turbodiesel V6 meant this never happened. Damn shame, this five is a cracker, and so’s the new Ranger. So good in fact that in New Zealand it won our 2011 Car of the Year.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Do they make a three or six cylinder version of that engine, or only four and five?

  46. C-Tech Says:

    @ 30 and #34 All the variants which shared the big SUV/Pickup drivetrains were 6-8K higher than their similar models. Add the higher trim level and other options you had to buy and the prices went higher. The only useful aspect of the hybrid pickups were the a/c outlets which could be built into the bed of the trucks to power electric tools. The truck could act as a mobile generator. I guess a standard truck and mobile generator mounted in the bed served the same purpose for less.

  47. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 28

    On what planet are the Volt and Ampera in any way shape or form doing ‘ well ‘ ?

    According to EuroCarNews CAR EVO What Car ? etc as well as Auto Moto und Sport AutoSprint etc etc the Ampera is an abject failure .

    According to all the prognostications from GM on the future of Volt sales the Volt is equally if not doing worse than the Ampera

    And …. just what ‘ segment would that be T ? Hybrids posing as E/V’s ? Because if you’re going to call a spade a spade thats what the Volt is …. a Hybrid … in which case the Prius … chose a model … any model is cleaning the Volts clock sales wise .

    Oh … but perhaps your minders forgot to inform you about all those recent plant shut/slow downs …. because the Volt isn’t selling worth a _______ even with us tax payers subsidizing each and every sale .

    Come on T . A little spin now and again I can countenance . But this one’s gone a step too far on your part … leaving all semblances of reality behind and entering into the realm of ‘ The GM Zone ‘

    Is that Rod calling ? ;-)

  48. C-Tech Says:

    @ #43 Given the number of Escalades sold and the small number of successful rappers and sports stars, there must be more than a few sold to soccer moms and stock traders.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and construction company owners.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …the one I refer to in 39

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    Escalade wheels are some of the most stolen automotive related things here in So Fl I have met 2 clients that had theirs stolen the same night they got the vehicle, did not even get the chance to install alarms or wheel locks.

  52. ColoradoKid Says:


    There’s four Escalades in my neighborhood . Every single one being driven daily by the ubiquitous Soccer Mom .

    No extra ‘ bling ‘ . No booming stereo . Just Soccer Mom with a back load of kiddies heading god knows where

    Stock traders ? I couldn’t say .. but most I know prefer the German brands e.g. BMW’s Audi’s and Mercedes

  53. T. Bejma Says:


    Sales are doing well, no matter what the fancy pants Euro mags say, when compared to Electric Vehicles (vehicles that are driven 100% by electric motors as opposed to hybrids that are driven by ICE motors with electric assist), the Volt and Ampera are beating ALL others, including the Plug in Prius.

    Volt plant has been shut down twice. Once in early 2012 before the Volt received POV lane approval in California and then in September to tool up for the Impala. Not spin, facts, check them out for yourself and feel free to references sources because I ain’t buyin’ your opinions without ‘em.

    Reminds me of my favorite quotes…

    Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.
    - Michel de Montaigne

    Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
    - John Adams

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    lately the sports/rapper crowd have been preferring Bentley, not Rolls, but Bentley, I guess they just want to be more environmentally friendly than the guzzler Escalade.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    And a Bentley, especially the Continental, is a whole lot cooler looking than about anything on the road, at least to me.

  56. C-Tech Says:

    @ #54 A number of those Bentleys are leases some you might see the same ones show up in different places.

  57. C-Tech Says:

    @ #51 Pedro I wish I could send you the picture of the one they tried to steal the wheels off of it while still sitting on the dealer’s lot for sale!?!

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    #55 Agree! if Toto should win the lotto, a Continental GT might be in my parking lot-o. That plus a Prius.

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    #57 I am surprised it does not happen more often, my local Caddy dealer has all their inventory inside a giant parking structure. I guess those Caddy rims and tires can fetch a pretty penny in the black market.

  60. HtG Says:

    check out these ‘Slade wheels on ebay.

    See anything you recognize, Pedro?


  61. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What do they do with those stolen Escalade wheels, other than sell them back to the owner who had them stolen? They would fit a Tahoe/Yukon, or GM pickup, but I’d think they would be conspicuous on the vehicles.

    Maybe they have the same bolt pattern as an old Chevy Caprice, which I sometimes see with very big wheels, maybe 22 inch like an Escalade, and rubber band tires.

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    #60 I’m sure Elliot Ness and J. Edgar are on this case and all those who sell stolen stuff on E-Bay. NOT. These people sure got cojones, I am almost 100% sure,these things are HOT! and who knows how many are sold thru Craigslist!!

  63. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 53

    Once again T ;

    The VOLT is not an E/V

    Never has been . Never will be . And Everyone from the CADOT to Reuters to the Federal Government has admitted as such

    It is at best an extended range hybrid . It does not drive 100% on electricity but in fact uses its ICE on a regular basis

    And talk about spin T ! Jeeze ! So every press / pundit and financial magazine was lying when they said the Volt plant was shut down again ….. due to lack of sales ; along with all those UK/EU automotive press types are lying when they report how bad the Ampera’s sales are in their own backyards ? ‘ Fraid not T. The Volt is an abject Sales Flop. The Ampera is doing even worse . The Cadillac ELR will like its not so much cheaper siblings fall on its pretentious little face as well .

    Criminy . First you deny the fact that GM is into us for that $27.2 billion that even Bernanke has said is the current number and now you’re trying to tell us the Volt/Ampera are in any possible definition in any language a sales ‘ Success ‘ ?

    Eeesh . You need some fresh air and sunshine there T. ASAP

  64. ColoradoKid Says:


    Put them on the Escalades they’ve stolen and either drive them or sell them …. more often than not overseas . There’s a huge market for stolen luxury SUV’s in the former Soviet block countries as well Russia and Mexico

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Volt DOES run 100% on electricity until the battery is run down, 30-35 miles in normal driving. It runs 100% on electricity, and DOES NOT use the ICE, even if you floor it, until the battery is run down.

    A plug-in Prius DOES use its ICE on a regular basis, if you accelerate very had, as will the C-Max “energi.” Those have smaller electric motors, and run 100% electric, only in fairly leisurely driving.

    As far as sales success/failure, I’m not going to get into that. Volt outsells all of the pure electric cars, but the actual sales numbers are low. I’ll leave it at that.

  66. HtG Says:

    63 I’d hold off on the ELR love, CK. That thing is going to be beautiful and appeal very rich alphas. I remember some years ago Cadillac was showing something like it at the NY autoshow. The crowds around it were huge. Whatever it was had such great lines and proportions.

    But otherwise, yeah

  67. T. Bejma Says:


    Volt is an EREV – Extended Range ELECTRIC VEHICLE

    Were it not an electric vehicle it would NOT be eligible for the government rebate or would NOT be able to occupy the POV lanes in California (along with Leaf, Tesla, PIP, etc), so no matter how much you deny and reference so called sources, you are still incorrect.

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    #65 Kit I do remember reading that the Volt ICE would engage in case of hard acceleration to supplement the electricity going to the motor which I thought would defeat the whole purpose of having it run on electric only as long as the battery had a charge, I guess the engineers decided to get rid of that.

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the production car looks like the pictures on the Cadillac web site, I think it looks pretty good. See:


    It might make more sense to use that body with a conventional power train, but I know a couple people of the type that might buy it with the Volt power train. As they say, different strokes, including from people with spare money.

  70. pedro fernandez Says:

    Are hybrids not allowed to use the POV lanes in California any longer, they’re allowed here in Fla.

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    69 it would sell a lot more as a regular car than an EREV.I find it very good looking.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As long as the battery has “juice,” the ICE doesn’t run. That’s what I had read, and I confirmed it when I drove on last summer.

    Whether that makes any difference, on a practical standpoint, seems to be “opinion” more than anything else. If you just have in you mind that you want to do all of your short trip driving without using a drop of gas, but have the capability to do road trips, the Volt is the car that will do that.

    I haven’t driven a Prius plug-in, but want to do so, to see what it’s like. I’m curious about how hard you can accelerate before the ICE starts.

  73. HtG Says:

    69 ELR is stunning. BTW, there’s enough Volts around here it’s no big deal to see one

  74. T. Bejma Says:


    Yeah pedro, only electrics. Volt sales in California went crazy when it got approval. The POV’s are a real time saver in California and approval is valued at about a $5,000 premium.

  75. C-Tech Says:

    @ #61 Kit, I saw a Chevy Pick-up with a full front clip and wheels front an Escalade. A cool mild custom. Navigator wheels will fit on a Ranger/Mazda B4000 mini pickup.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Are hybrids allowed in all the HOV lanes in Fla? I didn’t know that, but will take advantage of it on the rare occasions I’m on Fla roads with HOV lanes. Thanks for the info.

  77. C-Tech Says:

    More hybrids in Calif. than Florida and Atlanta. Single-rider hybrids were clogging up the HOV lanes in Cali.

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like Ranger/B4000 have big bolt patterns, or Navigators have small patterns for the size of the vehicle. I don’t know what any of these large vehicles have, though.

    The ones I’m familiar with are front drivers, and most of the ones I’ve had use 100 mm x 5.

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    Eventually as EV’s become more commonplace, the HOV rules will change specially here in Fl where on I-95 in So Fl you have to pay to ride HOV lanes except if you have a hybrid or EV.

  80. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 30: Don’t hold your breath like I’ve been doing;


  81. C-Tech Says:

    @ #78 The Navigator bolt pattern is larger (5 lug 135mm), requiring a special spacer. The Lincoln Town car wheels fits perfectly on the Ranger (5 lug 114.3mm). My son has a special spacer to put Chrysler 300C wheels on his 1996 GMC Jimmy.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the info. That 114.3 must be mrtric for 4.5 inch, or something. I remember that my ’05 Malibu had 110mm, which was kind of an oddball, used only by some GM products world wide, including some SAAB 9-3′s.

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I divided it out, and 114.3 mm is exactly 4.5 inches.

    While there seems to be little standardization of wheel bolt patterns, I find it interesting that inches, which almost no one uses, remain the standard for rim diameter. There were some metric rim/tire sizes a while back, but they never caught on. Didn’t some SVT Mustangs use them?

  84. C-Tech Says:

    I don’t think it was the SVT Mustang, but the TRX wheels and tires you may be thinking about. They were early low profile wheel/tire combinations available on 79-82(?) Ford Mustangs, Capris, Zephyer, etc. that were fully metric wheels and tires.

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @84, yep, it was a TRX handling/metric wheel tire package I was thinking of.

  86. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The production ELR will debut at the Detroit Auto Show on 1/15/13; it will have a ‘next gen’ Volt architecture. It is a stunner (my subjective view) and time will tell whether it makes a ‘dent’. Being expensive, I have my doubts; but maybe a ‘niche’ (in a niche market).

  87. Ckernzie Says:

    GM shares – I love the different politics between Canada & the US. The US government wants to divest its interest in GM as quickly as possible no matter the loss and GM wants them out even quicker to get away from the Government Motors tag, hence the buyback. Canada’s finance minister was asked if Canada will divest its shares and his repsonse was basically ‘nah we’re good thanks’ and I think most Canadians agree with that. Canada will hang on to GM stock probably past the next election in 2015 or even longer depending on stock price and to use as leverage against GM moving production out of Canada. (Camaro prodcution will be replaced)