At the Democratic National Convention last week in Charlotte, speaker after speaker, including President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, touted the bailout of General Motors.
Not only did the $49 billion still owed to taxpayers go unmentioned last week, new numbers show GM is losing $49,000 per Chevy Volt the company produces, which is more than the actual list price (not counting taxpayer funded subsidies) of $39,000.
Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.
Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher. There are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.
And while the loss per vehicle will shrink as more are built and sold, GM is still years away from making money on the Volt, which will soon face new competitors from Ford, Honda and others.
And yes, Volt sales are still pathetically low.
The lack of interest in the car has prevented GM from coming close to its early, optimistic sales projections. Discounted leases as low as $199 a month helped propel Volt sales in August to 2,831, pushing year-to-date sales to 13,500, well below the 40,000 cars that GM originally had hoped to sell in 2012.