Higher gas prices good for Volt, but what about GM?
At a plug-in conference hosted by GM in Detroit last week, news of rising gas prices was seen as a good thing.
"Every penny added to the price of gas makes alternative power just a little more attractive," said Tony Posawatz, head of the Volt program. "If petroleum hit $150 a barrel and stays there, he and others agree, the low cost of electricity would make plug-ins fairly competitive on an operating cost basis."
So, what's good for the Chevy Volt is good for GM?
Let's say gas hits a sustained $150 per barrel and $4.00+ at the pump in 2011, during the first full year of Volt production. That would be good for GM? While such gas prices might make the Volt more competitive - after a $7500 tax credit - what about the Silverado, Traverse or Impala, for instance?
Today, GM's profits are not driven by fuel efficiency. Can the Chevy Cruze and a limited production Volt change the troubles GM felt during the gas spike of 2008?
It seems to me, what's good for the Volt is not good for GM, at least not any time soon. While higher gas prices might make the Volt more competitive, can higher gas prices really make GM more competitive and profitable without radical changes to their product lineup?