Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen couldn’t be more clear about his thoughts on the upcoming Chevy Volt, calling it “a car for idiots.”
De Nysschen made the comments to MSN while previewing a few of Audis upcoming electric cars. He believes that there just won’t be enough demand for a vehicle that is expected to cost $40,000, when conventional hybrids are closer to $25,000.
“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.”
He went on to say how a premium hybrid or electric car can command those dollars because of the added prestige or performance it delivers. And yet, cars like the Toyota Prius have somehow elevated to the status of prestige vehicles, based purely on their environmental record.
De Nysschen has an agenda though, and like his opinions he isn’t about to hide it. The Audi exec believes that the U.S. government has worked to promote these technologies while offering little help to diesel alternatives. He also points out the important problem that much of the electricity generated in the United States comes from burning coal. Increasing diesel sales, he says, would have a more immediate impact on reducing pollution.
De Nysschen even gave MSN a prediction, that the Volt will fail initially and that the federal government will have to subsidize the car in order for it to succeed.
Our prediction is that subsidies will be available right from the start, ensuring both GM and the government that owns it look good while promoting a specific hybrid-electric agenda.