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GM CEO Insists Chevy Volt is on Target

But plug-in hybrid likely to miss 2011 sales goal.

by on Nov.03, 2011

The Chevy Volt is "hitting its pace," says GM CEO Dan Akerson during a CNBC appearance.

After an agonizingly slow start Chevrolet’s plug-in hybrid, the Volt, is finally showing signs of powering up – October sales jumping 50% over the previous month, though the battery car appears all but certain to miss its ambitious target for 2011.

Despite that shortfall – and the fact that is lagging well behind its primary competitor, the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson contends he is pleased with the progress of the Chevy Volt and insists it is on target for its even more ambitious 2012 sales goal.

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The U.S. giant plans to produce 60,000 Chevrolet Volts next year, with 15,000 of them planned for export and the rest aimed at the U.S. market.

“Everything we’ve seen is this thing has been a home run,” Akerson said during an appearance on the cable network CNBC today, the former telecomm exec adding that GM is already “ramping up production” even though it will struggle to meet its 2011 sales target.

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GM CEO Disses Lincoln as “Over”; Downplays Hydrogen and Ethanol

Chief Executive Akerson earning reputation as hip-shooter.

by on Jun.06, 2011

GM CEO Dan Akerson takes aim at Lincoln, declaring the Cadillac rival "over."

General Motors CEO Dan Akerson seems to be working hard to earn a reputation for shooting from the hip.  In recent months, he has taken pot shots at any number of competitors, and is now taking aim at Ford Motor Co., suggesting that its struggling Lincoln brand is “over.”

The former Navy officer also downplayed various alternative powertrain solutions, such as hydrogen and ethanol, both championed by his predecessor, former GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.  But in an interview with The Detroit News, Akerson showed he could also criticize his own company, he suggested that it won’t be long before GM’s own Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will be considered “old, old technology and old news.”

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That’s not to say GM will go back to business as usual when it comes to powertrains.  If anything, Akerson has been a major proponent of alternative propulsion since taking on his dual duties as chairman and CEO last year.

But, he told the News, “In the next 10 years, this company has to break the code on advanced propulsion and that’s going to be a multifaceted solution.”

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