Monday 7 September 2009

Audi USA president; Johan de Nysschen - The Volt is for idiots (U.S)

Audi of America president, Johan de Nysschen has dismissed General Motors Chevrolet Volt as "a car for idiots".

Speaking to veteran American journalist Lawrence Ulrich, de Nysschen said that few customers will be prepared to pay the estimated £25,000 asking price for the Volt, which will go on sale in Europe as the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera.

"No one is going to pay a $15,000 (£9,000) premium for a car that competes with a Toyota Corolla,” said de Nysschen. "So there are not enough idiots who will buy it."

De Nysschen, a long-time advocate of diesel power, admitted that plug-in hybrids are good in concept and hold advantages over diesels in stop-and-go driving. However, he maintained that electric cars are more about making a statement at present.

“They’re for the intellectual elite who want to show what enlightened souls they are,” he said.

De Nysschen concluded by saying that the Volt will fail to sell and the Government will be forced to subsidise it and boost sales, having forced GM to develop electric cars.

However, De Nysschen said in his defence:

“Let me clearly state that in my opinion, electric vehicles will be part of the future transportation of society – but only if we go about it the right way. In fact, Audi is working on electric vehicles," he said."

De Nysschen also apologised if he had been "unclear" about the fact that he isn’t opposed to electric vehicles, and said he didn't remember specifically saying the Volt is a car "idiots".

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