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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Nice, in depth piece about the Volt, the process, and some of the people.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/general-motors


July/August 2008 Atlantic Monthly

With the Chevy Volt, General Motors—battered, struggling for profitability, fed up with being eclipsed by Toyota and the Prius—is out to reinvent the automobile, and itself.


by Jonathan Rauch


Electro-Shock Therapy




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(Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


Last year, while he was working in Germany as an engineer for General Motors,​

Andrew Farah got a call from a senior engineer in Detroit asking him to come home.

Why?

A car.

A special car.
.
.
.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Re: Electro-Shock Therapy

cont.

Farah had heard about it, of course.
The Chevrolet Volt was the automotive sensation of 2007, a new kind of electric hybrid that GM was proposing to have in showrooms in late 2010.
Farah had advocated a similar design years earlier, so he didn’t need to be sold on the idea.

Still, he hesitated. GM had called him because of his deep experience with battery-driven electric cars.
In the 1990s, he had worked on GM’s EV1, an all-electric technological masterpiece that had done so poorly commercially that GM wound up crushing the cars amid a hail of public condemnation.

Farah had been fiercely committed to the EV1, and he was not about to relive the disappointment.


“Hell, no,” he said. “I’ve been on programs like this before. They’re not real.”

“No,” came the reply. “This one is real.”

Farah asked to talk to other senior executives, and they concurred.

So, in the spring of last year, he took one of the hardest jobs at GM, and became the Volt’s chief engineer.
 

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Re: Electro-Shock Therapy

Wow, great article. Not a lot of new technical info, but a great bit of insight on what GM is going through developing the Volt. I'd buy the book if this guy wrote one about the Volt's development and released it soon after the Volt hit the streets.

Maybe you need to change the title of this thread - I can't believe I'm the first to respond.
 

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Re: Electro-Shock Therapy

To author Jonathan Rauch and The Atlantic, that is one of the most well written pieces I've read in a long time. Both extensively researched, and on a unique personal level rather than the internet-query of general knowledge hosted by most other media, and articulately composed into a clean piece of literary artwork. Bravo.

I'll have to keep tabs on this publication in the future. I hope they print a progress update on the Volt soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Electro-Shock Therapy

Wow, great article. Not a lot of new technical info, but a great bit of insight on what GM is going through developing the Volt. I'd buy the book if this guy wrote one about the Volt's development and released it soon after the Volt hit the streets.

Maybe you need to change the title of this thread - I can't believe I'm the first to respond.
Here we agree.

As to the title I thought that the article was such a good piece - including the title that I didn't want to tamper with it.

I'm seriously open to suggestion if you have an idea to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Electro-Shock Therapy

To author Jonathan Rauch and The Atlantic, that is one of the most well written pieces I've read in a long time. Both extensively researched, and on a unique personal level rather than the internet-query of general knowledge hosted by most other media, and articulately composed into a clean piece of literary artwork. Bravo.

I'll have to keep tabs on this publication in the future. I hope they print a progress update on the Volt soon!
Nicely put - thats a good summary -its so refreshing to read something with automotive content - done as you've managed to well - describe.

Much, including good and great writing is being lost.
 

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Re: Electro-Shock Therapy

Very, very interesting article!
 

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Excellent article... without a doubt one of the best peices I have read in a long time. This has to be the definative article on the Volt program to date.

Thanks 123 for finding that.
 

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After reading the article in full, I really think this needs to be on the front page!

Great article - thanks for posting it!
 

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Dear Moderators,

Please hide this article somewhere virtually unnoticeable.
The snake pit might be a good option.
Or the Ford forum.
This article is not appropriate for GMI.
Perhaps if you could provide some more Toyota, we would be much happier.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

plane
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Excellent article... without a doubt one of the best peices I have read in a long time. This has to be the definitive article on the Volt program to date.
You betcha'

This is is just one of my favorite parts -

‘Risk Is My Friend’

Lauckner, 50, is vice president of global program management, which puts him in charge of moving vehicles through GM’s new-product pipeline. His father and grandfather worked for GM.

Although he has a Stanford management degree, Lauckner is an engineer to the core.

Ask him why he is so sure the Volt is doable, and he is likely to say, “I work in power train!”

He sees the Volt as an engineering problem that, with enough determination, can be broken down and solved.

He also thinks engineers do their best work when asked to stretch, and the further the better.

“Risk is my friend,” he once told me. “I like risk. You either go big or go home.”

In February 2006, Lauckner pulled together a brainstorming team that included, unusually, a public-relations man, Chris Preuss.

Then just turning 40, Preuss was a Chrysler veteran who had come to GM in the late 1990s and discovered a depressingly hidebound organization.

Things had improved since then, but not enough for Preuss.

While Lutz was agitating for electric drive, Preuss had been arguing that GM needed a breakthrough product in the mold of the iPod.

“Apple Computer was almost on its last breath,” Preuss says. “Once the iPod hit, all the other things they had suddenly looked relevant again.”

That March, the group laid its conclusions before Rick Wagoner and the rest of the top leadership.

Preuss and Larry Burns, who runs the company’s research operations and is regarded in the industry as something of a visionary, did not pull punches.

GM had to show a real change of mind on the environment and sustainability or remain Toyota’s doormat.

It had to lead on plug-ins or get left behind in yet another new market.

It had to restore credibility damaged by the mishandling of the EV1, the abdication on hybrids, and the repeated failure to deliver on promises.

It needed not just one more in a long series of research programs and concept cars but a real-world product, one ambitious enough to impress even the cynics.
The group proposed a plug-in that would drive at least 10 miles on a charge. It would be a cool, stylish, high-tech car, marketed to trendsetters.

They called it the iCar.
Now there's a buncha' guys who understand the biz.

You know, I impressed with all the GM people in this article - what they say and how they say it.

Its a good lookin' crew - bodes well for the program.

And to the Mods and Admin people, look, without gettin' into it ( I understand ), if the reason why this isn't on our front page etc is because I posted it up - no problem, take my name off it and use one of the guys above this post who responded to the article itself.

Similiarly, not that it matters but for etiquette's sake - go ahead and alter or remove this post.


The article deserves that positioning and I have no ego issues to resolve here - do what you think is best or just do what you gotta' do to put it up - its all good.
 

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It's nice to read a real article again. We've all been so used to blog articles, cyber-journalism (i.e. copy and paste from various sources to make a new article), and editorializing by anyone with a computer and hand-eye coordination, that I think we all forgot what it means to be a real, honest-to-God, journalist.

This was a very engaging piece.
 

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Dear Moderators,

Please hide this article somewhere virtually unnoticeable.
The snake pit might be a good option.
Or the Ford forum.
This article is not appropriate for GMI.
Perhaps if you could provide some more Toyota, we would be much happier.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

plane
LOL!
 

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Wow!
Great stuff.

So true - mighty GM had tons of go-nowhere research and concept cars. Designs which were great but then stuck on whatever architecture and powertrain was availible because it saved money. Meanwhile they didn't sell...
 

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I'll have to agree; this was an amazing article. Truly excellently written and very captivating. True journalism! The Volt is really shaping up to be a historic, game changing vehicle.
 

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America 123 - I cannot believe that you would post such a puff piece article.
About a domestic company pulling a PR stunt that will never come to fruition.
However, after the fourth other post of this article, I just wanted to say

Kudos for being first.

My apologies for the interruption.
Please carry on.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled unwarranted GM bashing and MazToyonda deification.

Mods, if you could convert the text in this thread entirely to Cyrillic, it would be much appreciated.
 
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