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GM Gets Factual (Not Convincing) In New Volt Commercial (Video)
GM is in crisis mode in regards to the Chevy Volt, but you'd never know it based on its ad campaign. First, we got a pretty sappy, 'heart strings'-type ad that seemed to be more about the Detroit auto manufacturing industry than the car itself. Then we got some creepy aliens. And now we have a new commercial that sets out to lay down some facts - only it totally misses the important ones.
The new commercial titled "Just the Facts" rests largely on the Volt's past achievements, which were accomplished before all the battery fire talk and government investigations. The first set of facts relates to the entirely subjective: Chevy lists all the awards that the Volt won... long before the battery fires ever became public. Old news, and not really impressive anymore.
Chevy then goes into its own testing of the Volt battery. It gets close to the heart of the matter, but no cigar - much of that testing happened before the Volt fires.
Then it goes into its IIHS and NHTSA top safety picks. And guess what? The NHTSA award came before the battery fire issue surfaced. The IIHS award came in December during the NHTSA's investigation, but Chevy doesn't even mention that fact in the video.
The facts that Chevy omits are the ones that it should have focused on. That it proactively worked with the NHTSA to develop a solution to even the hint of a battery fire issue (then point to all your hours of in-house testing that suggest the battery has no problems). That the NHTSA later concluded its investigation. That the NHTSA's fire was the result of very specific circumstances unlikely to be repeated in the real world. That the Congressional hearings on the investigation are nothing more than your standard inter-party pontificating. That Chevy stands by the Volt and is 1000 percent sure the car is safe and stands right behind it.
Perhaps Chevy wanted to just move past the battery fire and government stuff without bringing it up. But they could have at least focused on some positives that have meaning to consumers: the Volt's price dropped by more than $1,000 this year; the Volt costs under $33,000 after federal tax incentives; if driven 35 miles or less each day, the Volt will save you "..." in gas over the course of a year; predictions point to gas prices rising to $5 this year, etc. Give us something besides stale news, GM.
The negative publicity that is destroying Volt sales has to do with battery fires. A battery-powered vehicle with even the slightest smell of battery smoke has PR disaster written all over it. We think Chevy should tackle that PR problem head on and issue some facts with substance. For now, it's chosen to rest on largely irrelevant past accomplishments that mean nothing to the greater issue at hand. Perhaps if they keep pounding these mundane past achievements into the public conscience, they'll change the conversation. But that conversation seems just a little too loud and heated for such feeble tactics to work.
Decide for yourself if this ad was worth the money that made it possible:
Posted In: Hybrid / Green, Reports, Safety, Videos
Tags: GM, Volt, Chevy, Chevrolet, commercials, videos, ads
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