Chrysler's Press Claims Japan Paid 100% Of Toyota Prius Hybrid, Battery Development; Lutz Says Volt Could Cost $48,000

Illustration for article titled Chrysler's Press Claims Japan Paid 100% Of Toyota Prius Hybrid, Battery Development; Lutz Says Volt Could Cost $48,000

BusinessWeek's David Kiley had a fun idea to spend some time talking with some industry heavy-hitters about CAFE and fuel economy. He spent a few minutes talking to both former Toyota USA President and current #2 at Chrysler, Jim Press, as well as GM Vice-Chairman "Maximum" Bob Lutz. The topic was the fuel efficient topic of choice among greenies, hybrids. In the article, Lutz claimed the upcoming Chevy Vaporware Volt might end up with a sticker price at around $48K. Normally that would make a pretty spectacular lead for us, especially given it's a price tag that's betwen 33% and 60% higher than originally stated by the brand all about the 'merican revolution and the GM exec born from jets. Fortunately for him, his comments were eclipsed by Press on the Prius.

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And why not, as Press noted the inherent unfairness of competition from Toyota in the hybrid game, saying

"...the Japanese government paid for 100% of the development of the battery and hybrid system that went into the Toyota Prius."

Phew, that's nice work by an automaker if you can get it. Here in the US, we're lucky if we can get a bailout for our automakers if they're about to go bankrupt. Oh wait, sorry Jim, Chrysler already used up that chit. But, we know how keen US politicians seem to be on helping out an industry which employs millions of people and effects almost every American's daily life, we're assuming similar plans are in the works. Yeah, right. [MSNBC]

DISCUSSION

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@rlj676: So a car that's #10 in OVERALL US sales in March is a "niche" but the car at #11 isn't, eh?

[www.freep.com]

And that data I provided was for hybrids in general...but YOU would

know that if YOU knew how to read and YOU didn't have a selective

memory. It means that you'll need to include more than just Prius

sales... which incidentally will probably end up being much higher than

160,000 based on the most recent sales data... which I'm sure you'll

ignore.

And I didn't say "The Prius will become the mainstream". And the

Prius isn't the whole segment. After all, GM, Ford and Nissan have

hybrids in production too. In the case of GM and Nissan, they're just

starting up because they're late to the game.

What I'm telling you is that cars *like* the Prius are becoming the mainstream. And that's what I'm telling you to get used to.

But then I'm not surprised that you've once again have a selective memory as to what I said.

And I'm only comparing the cost of the Prius in terms of what people

can afford. And it's a valid comparison on the basis that 80% of SUV

drivers use their SUVs just for commuting and getting groceries...

something the Prius is perfectly capable of. And as a matter of fact, I

know of at least a few cases where somebody has traded an SUV for a

Prius. I suppose you view these people as being stupid for trading in

their high cost SUV (which is somehow cheaper in your fantasy world)

for a same-or-lower price and much lower operating cost Prius.

All I'm saying is that if many people can afford these trucks, then they can afford the Prius.

As far as buying one for myself... I will once they are available

used at low price... because as I mentioned before, I'm in the "big

mortgage" stage of my life... meaning I'm not rewarding myself with

*any* new car until the mortgage is gone. It's a good incentive to

getting rid of debt. It has nothing to do with hypocracy (unless I

drove an SUV myself... but I don't... I drive a used stick shift Saab

that I got a great deal on recently), it has everything to do with

sound financial planning... something that you seem to have trouble

grasping.