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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tarnished Reputation -- Expert suggests GM avoiding mentioning Volt to avoid memories of bailout -- By Bill McMorris, The Washington Free Beacon

President Obama driving a Volt / Wikimedia CommonsGeneral Motors has shied away from promoting the Chevrolet Volt in 2013 as the federal government begins selling off its final shares of company stock, a move one expert said may have been made to avoid reminding the public of the federal bailout.

GM press releases have avoided discussing the plug-in hybrid that was once hailed as the “halo car” and a “moon shot” that could increase GM’s market share in green technology.

GM’s public press releases mentioned the Chevrolet Volt roughly 111 times per month when it launched in 2010 and 92 times the following year.

However, the company began drawing less attention to the vehicle in November 2011 when the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration launched an investigation into claims that the vehicle’s fire hazards.

From December 2011 to December 2012, the company mentioned the Volt just 31 times per month. The acceleration of the federal government’s withdrawal from the company has also coincided with decreasing attention drawn to the Volt. GM press releases have mentioned the vehicle just 11 times per month on average through September 2013.

Despite record-breaking sales in August, GM mentioned the Volt only once, as part of a press release focused on overall company performance.

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