By Audi President Johan De Nysschen
Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen dismissed GM’s upcoming plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt as “a car for idiots.” More specifically, he said that few consumers will be willing to pay $40,000 base price for a car that competes with $25,000 hybrids.
“No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla,” he said. “So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.” “They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are,” he said.
In addition, he noted, the Volt is not a luxury car whose green-technology costs will be excused because it also delivers prestige or performance.
De Nysschen is an advocate of diesel technology:
De Nysschen expressed frustration with regulators and policymakers, saying the public has been hoodwinked into believing that E.V.’s are the only answer to global warming. The U.S. government, he said, is pouring billions of dollars into E.V. technology, yet diesel technology could deliver a more immediate and dramatic decrease in global-warming emissions. And the man knows of what he speaks: Modern diesels already power half of Audi’s cars in Europe and have helped Audi dominate recent runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Diesels have been shown to emit 25 percent less carbon dioxide than gasoline engines, while using 25 to 35 percent less fuel.¹
The Audi of America president ended with a bold prediction: The Volt will fall flat. And the federal government, having publicly forced GM to develop electric cars, will subsidize the Volt to save face and boost sales.
In related news, CNET recently reported GM’s astronomical claim of the Volt’s 230 mpg are false, and a more realistic evaluation put the cars fuel economy at 48 mpg.
GM has since backed away from the 230 mpg claim. Read more here.