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Back to the GM Hoopla
The first mention of the Volt came 25 minutes into the show, which included live feeds from around the world—Germany, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Korea, China, India, Dubai, South Africa, and Brazil.
GM product czar Bob Lutz called design and styling the “one big differentiator left” as every brand improves quality, offers good handling, excellent packaging, and so forth. He talked about bringing designers into the process at the earliest stages to help conceive cars, rather than just asking them to “skin” products that had already been engineered. But he acknowledged that the Volt design team’s assignment was a little different, requiring above all “superb aerodynamics to ensure efficiency.”
The Volt itself didn’t make its appearance until the very end of the hour-long event. It was the finale to a wide-ranging presentation that hammed home GM’s message: It’s a global company with designers and engineers around the world. Before revealing the car, CEO Wagoner called this “the most exciting time in GM’s history,” saying the Volt “symbolizes GM’s commitment to the future.”
The actual unveiling seemed almost anti-climactic. A curtain pulled back, Bob Lutz slowly drove the car out onto a turntable, the crowd applauded—and that was it.
So now we know what it looks like without executives standing in front of it. We have 26 months left until cars appear at Chevrolet dealers—we hope—but if there’s one certainty, it’s that you’ll see way, way more Volt publicity between now and then. Stay tuned.