General Motors and the other major American auto manufacturers are having a very bad year. Demand for their automobiles is at its lowest rate since the early 90's. With the meltdown of so many banks, consumer loans for automobiles are harder to get and more expensive. Finally, growth in developing markets like China has declined faster than expected.
It is in this environment that GM's CEO Rick Wagoner introduced the production model of the company's electric car, the Chevy Volt. On the 100th anniversary of General Motors, the company is finally indicating that its going to take design cues from the actual needs of American motorists.
General Motors is investing $400 - 500 million to make the Volt a reliable family vehicle that runs predominantly on lithium-ion batteries. Earlier concept versions of the Volt were shaped like two-door sports cars rather than four-door sedans. The actual production model GM unveiled today looks more like a combination of a Toyota Camry and a Toyota Prius. GM expects the Volt to be available in November of 2010.
In addition to unveiling the new Volt, GM's CEO made a plea to policy makers for over $25 billion in federal loans to help auto manufacturers re-tool their plants so they can switch from building trucks and SUVs to manufacturing smaller cars and hybrids to meet growing consumer demand for cars with better fuel efficiency.
To read more about the Chevy Volt unveiling, click HERE.