Playing GM Executive on the Model Cuts

Playing GM Executive on the Model Cuts

We examine why GM cut off the Chevy Cruze and the Chevy Volt production.  The previous article shows how Trump’s destruction of clean energy policies led to this.

In Quarter 3, 2018, GM total sales were 485,019, down 11.38% from last year Q3.  Here are the EV sales, the Cruze sales, and the leading Truck and SUV sales.

Bolt EV        3,949, down 41.2%, 0.8% of vehicle sales.

Cruze         31,971, down 27.4%, 6.6% of vehicle sales.

Volt PHEV    5,429, up      22.9%, 1.1% of vehicle sales.

Silverado 133,329, down 14.3%, 27.5% of vehicle sales.

Equinox     78,014, down   1.6%, 16.1% of vehicle sales.

This looks like what happens when the price of gas takes a nose-dive.  GM’s two most popular gas vehicles go down at most 14%.  The compact Chevy Cruze drops 27%, and  the Chevy Bolt EV drops 41%.  The Chevy Volt PHEV does go up 22.9%, but out of total GM sales, that increase is only 0.21%, or 1,013 vehicles.  

In addition, Tesla’s three models dominate the EV market, especially with their new Model 3.

So, if you need to save money, you close out the small, cheaper and less profitable models. You keep the Silverado V6 pickup with 24 mpg and 4.3L.  You keep the Equinox compact SUV with a good 28 mpg city, and  39 mpg highway, with the small 1.8L diesel motor.

You drop the Cruze, with 31 mpg city and 47 mpg highway, since customers prefer the Equinox 2.44 to 1.

You keep the Bolt, which has scored next to the Teslas, and still gives you one electric vehicle to offer.

But what do you do when the price of gas shoots up again?

From an opinion column in the Register by Susan Shelly, the White House said:  “They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly.”  Trump said to the Wall Street Journal, about closing the plan in Lordstown, Ohio:  “You’re playing around with the wrong person.”

In time of war, the President has the right to take over needed industries, or end strikes.  But for personal political gain?

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in Autos, CAFE Standards, Clean Energy, Donald Trump, Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars, Oil. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply