Jan 27, 2012
Chris Salamone

GM Acknowledges Rough Volt Publicity, Launches New Ad To Bolster Sales

For the next month GM will air a commercial which aims right to the heart of the matter, suggesting the Volt is a car “America had no choice but to build” and implying the car’s automotive nuts and bolts make up the very fabric of Detroit. If this all sounds a bit desperate, that’s because the Volt needs a lifeline. GM just recently publically acknowledged that sales of the Volt have been dramatically hurt by recent negative publicity. Concerns ranging from battery safety, design, and price have popped up everywhere and often.

The Volt has become something of a media-induced tumor, made even more noxious because of GM’s otherwise financially successful 2011. Which effectively means the new Volt “Morning in Hamtramck” ad represents a critical attempt by the company to salvage the Volt’s sinking reputation.

On Thursday, GM North America President Mark Reuss was asked if Volt sales have taken a hit in January. To which he responded, “Oh, yes” and proceeded to state that bad publicity was “definitely a component” of the Volt’s dwindling sales – all this right on the heels of a fantastic month. In December, the EV had its best sales month ever with about 1,500 units sold.

Just one day before, GM began airing a commercial (shown below) that positions the Volt as a car built “for our town, for our country, for our future.” And, as if heady language weren’t enough, the ad shows Volts being assembled through the streets of Hamtramck’s blue-collar neighborhoods whilst dogs run amuck, an adult picks up the morning paper, and a school child looks on in awe.

The ad is actually quite compelling. That’s because just a few years ago GM was considered to be down and out. Our country was on the verge of economic collapse and the Volt stands for our ability to bounce back, innovate, and produce despite all odds. This is a car which literally is a testament to the fighting spirit and grit of the American community.

The problem, however, is that the Volt is really easy to criticize. It’s much more expensive than most consumers are willing to accept (over $40,000 with mark ups), requires premium gasoline, seats only four people, and has less interior space than a Chevrolet Cruze ($17,000) – which also happens to share the same underpinnings. If GM really wants to save the Volt’s reputation, maybe ads should focus on the car’s everyday practicality rather than some tear jerking attempt to characterize the Volt’s identity as our own. That is, assuming the Volt actually has everyday practicality.

Source : The Detroit News

1 Comment

  • Sad commercial but i dont think this is going to help bring the the Volt back its probably going to take a while.

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