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Published on December 26th, 2014 | by James Ayre


2016 Chevy Volt Teaser Underwhelms, Continuing In Lackluster Advertising Tradition

December 26th, 2014 by  

The most recent video spot for the Chevrolet Volt, showcasing the soon-to-be-released 2016 model, is apparently continuing in the tradition set by previous advertising campaigns for the Volt — that is to say, a very lackluster one.

Considering that the Volt is really quite a good car with extremely happy owners, you’d think the approach to advertising it would better showcase that than it has to date. Hmm, but asking for most companies to really push their electric models seems to be too much, doesn’t it? To date, most of the major automotive manufacturers don’t seem to have adopted very effective approaches, but Chevy in particular has performed poorly in this regard.



GAS2 provides some humorous comments on the video:

Boring B-roll footage of a Volt testing on an icy footage? Check. Overly-enthusiastic background music? Check. Run-time of less than a minute? Check and mate! 

I get that the Chevy Volt isn’t as exciting as the 650 horsepower Corvette Z06, but for some people it is. Despite my love for the Bowtie brand though, this teaser video seems like it was slapped together in the same amount of time as this video lasts. Sure, the Volt’s no sports car, but on ice even a Prius can get sideways, which is what I was hoping to see. On the other hand, most people don’t want to see the car they are considering buying losing control on the test track.

Lol. You would think that the company could come up with a better way to showcase the Volt, though, wouldn’t you? Sometimes I really wonder what goes on in the heads of some corporate higher-ups (in the auto industry, in particular).

I guess the video does tell us some about the upcoming 2016 model though — it outwardly looks very similar to earlier models, for instance, with a few tweaks. It does, reportedly, feature improved electric driving range and an improved fuel economy, though. Certainly good improvements, it’s just too bad that the PHEV isn’t advertised better.

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About the Author

James Ayre’s background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Joseph Kool

    Electric cars aren’t practical for the average person get over it

  • VFanRJ

    Marketing is more than just advertising.

    In terms of requirements gathering and moving the Volt forward it currently appears that GM is evolving the Volt in a meaningful way. It’s clear that the Volt it much more then just a compliance car.

    There is also no credible indication that GM doesn’t plan to be a key player in the EV market. In addition to complying to Federal mandates we all know that the energy landscape turns on a dime. From the Volt as well as their announcement about plans for a 200 miles car GM is still in game with both feet. It takes no more effort than a comparison to Ford and Fiat/Chrysler to verify that GM is in game for more then just compliance.

  • Big mike

    Another notice…instead of unveiling the car at the LA auto show which is in there largest target market I.E. Southern Cali. GM holds out till the Detroit show? All we get here is a “tease” of the front end, I prefer to think of it as a slap in the face! Complete Disrespect and disregard another obvious point that they don’t give a $&@! about how many they sell even in a white hot market for EVs.

    • Joseph Kool

      Detroit is an International auto show with the largest media presence of all the auto shows dummy

      • Bob_Wallace

        This site doesn’t allow name-calling.

  • Jim Seko

    Perhaps GM thinks potential Volt buyers are idiots. If they didn’t think we’re idiots they would point out that 62% of the Volt’s weight is over the driving wheels. They would point out how well traction control works with an electric motor. They would point out the low rolling resistance Goodyear tires don’t’ sacrifice traction like other low rolling resistance tires. My 2013 Volt handles snow better than any front wheel drive car I’ve ever driven.

  • Wtf

  • Ian Ray

    Totally. They need to advertise the technology and stuff.

  • Ross Nicholson

    They could enclose the wheel wells and add 10 miles to range, increase top speed & acceleration.

    • Mike333

      I’d love to see an Aero-Kit.

  • conrad clement

    The automakers are still almost entirely dependent on Big Oil, whereas the oil lobby sells to many other categories of customers — so, Big Oil is watching the automakers, not allowing them to really promote their EV sales.

    Other carmakers are bound to use the same kind of negative publicity, such as:

    Audi with the e-tron, pronouncing like the French ‘étron’ (a poop sausage…)
    BMW with its i8, pronouncing like what I believe to be slang for ‘I hate’…
    Mitsubishi with its i-miev, pronouncing like the German mief (stinky…) and like the first syllab of the French mièvre (shabby…)

    And how about Renault with its Twizy lacking side windows?

    Big Oil will need time to take the lead in the new renewable enregies — but it should be noted that Dubai, for one, has made a first step by calling for submissions for a 1GW PV power plant, with offers as low as 6 cts/kWh received from a Spanish company…

    • Dan Hue

      I assume (hope) you are being facetious.

      What about the Toyota MR2, which is French sounds like “Toyota est merdeux” (“Toyota is shitty”). They changed to Toyota MR 🙁

    • Bob_Wallace

      ” Big Oil is watching the automakers, not allowing them to really promote their EV sales.”

      Tell us how that works. Does Big Oil station security forces in the ad departments of automakers or use some other mechanism of control?

      • Mike333

        Let’s look at Exxon-Congress.
        Cut Food Stamps not that poor white people are using them, and expand Oil Subsidies.

        • Bob_Wallace

          That’s a bit too tinfoil hat-y for me.

      • Joseph Kool

        Like I said these cars are just too impractical for the average consumer. It has nothing to do with advertising.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Early ICEVs had their limitations.

          Current EVs are find for a significant portion of all drivers. Those who can deal with the limited range can save a bundle on fuel costs.

          Over the next few years we will almost certainly see range increases along with price drops.

          Stay tuned….

  • Aphidman

    In Canada, at least, GMC seems to be the only GM division with its advertising act together. [I have a Cruze Diesel, which is practically invisible, in terms of advertising.]

  • Kyle Field

    “not much to see here. yes, we know we didnt change much, but maybe this camo coverup will get some of you wondering about what it looks like even though most will think it’s a new color option. sorry about that”

  • Shane 2

    The profile looks like it will have wedge styling. I might like it. I wonder if the Cruze will look the same.

  • Epicurus

    A decent commercial would point out that you can “fill up” for the equivalent of a dollar a gallon or less, have fewer maintenance costs, drive for 40 plus miles on electricity and have a gasoline engine in the event you exceed the electric range.

    Does GM have a professional advertising agency? If so, they need to find another one.

    • Michael G

      You only advertise cars you want to sell. I think GM makes no money on the Volt which for them is some combination of prototype and compliance car.

      • Epicurus

        That’s the only logical explanation. They don’t want to sell it to more than a few, the people who read sites like this..

    • Shiggity

      It’s a paradox. The more they advertise the Volt, the more they could potentially lose money on their higher value cars / trucks.

      This is also why the dealership model is flawed. A salesman will make more money selling you an SUV than a car, they could care less how much you are actually spending / saving on gas, they want commission.

      Every single time something like this happens we must go back to Elon Musk explaining why a conventional car company *CANNOT* build a truly good plug-in hybrid. It’s not that they are technically unable, they are financially disincentivized.

      • Epicurus

        Right. All the money is in selling the old technology and, indirectly, the filth and poison it runs on.

        If Volt sales took off, GM would have to ramp up production to the detriment of production of their profitable gas burners. They don’t want that.

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