Bob Lutz: Cadillac Escalade Should Have Been First Plug-In
'Father' of Chevrolet Volt Says Escalade Might Have Been Better Choice in Retrospect
Ah, Maximum Bob. We can always count on him and Sergio Marchionne to add some color to the sometimes staid and scripted automotive industry news coverage. In a moment of candor with the editors of British car magazine Autocar, former General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz said he thought the large and in-charge Cadillac Escalade might have made a better candidate to launch the company's plug-in hybrid technology than the Chevrolet Volt.
Lutz cited the below-expected sales of the Volt and its sister vehicle, the Opel Ampera, as evidence the expensive technology employed in a plug-in hybrid is a tough sell in the price-sensitive midsize sedan market. Furthermore, Lutz said in terms of overall fuel consumption, a greater reduction could be realized by applying the technology to thirsty SUVs than to already relatively efficient smaller passenger cars.
Although his points make sense, Lutz could have an ulterior motive, now being on the board of directors of VIA Motors, a start-up company that has applied a Volt-like formula of range-extended plug-in electric powertrains to GM trucks, vans and SUVs.