Volt Could Spark GM Bailout

Electric car may be speedy route to green image—and help
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 8:32 AM CDT
The electric powered Chevy Volt concept car is displayed at the New York International Auto Show in New York, Wednesday, April 4, 2007. The show opens to the public on April 6, 2007.    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – GM is about as likely to turn a profit with the Chevy Volt as the Edsel is to make a comeback, Holman W. Jenkins Jr. writes in the Wall Street Journal. But the ailing automaker may be aiming to improve its image rather than sell cars. With the automaker's image suitably greened, a federal bailout may become more politically acceptable, Jenkins suggests.

With serious usability issues and a price tag of around $45,000, Jenkins writes, the Volt could serve as a third car for an affluent family, but little more, Jenkins writes. GM's share price, meanwhile, is at a half-century low. Rather than gamble that a revolution in consumer behavior will boost electric cars, GM instead is "betting the Volt will trigger a change in Washington's taste for bailing out a domestic carmaker," states Jenkins.