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CBS Detroit had an opportunity to go into the Chevy Bolt plant and development lab. The presenter seems a bit boring and unenthusiastic, but the automated cart with the battery is interesting.

 

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The whole time we've seen pictures of the cart, I didn't know it was automated. Thanks for the video, I actually watched it on mute to be honest, but it was super cool to see the cart move lol
 

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Modern car factories blow my mind. The way they can now build completely different cars on the same assembly line simultaneously. The Bolt shares what with the Sonic? The steering wheel or something? Pretty much nothing as far as I can tell.
 

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pretty cool video. those carts are "carrybees" in LEAF terms and are essential to making sure the right part gets put on the right car. unlike the old days where you pump out the same car all day long, most car lines now put out cars to order. When visiting the Nissan plant in Japan, we saw every kind of car being built in session. the carrybees would bring smaller parts in lots of 4 at a time to the correct location on the line. each cart is guided by sensors in the floor and are still aware enough to not run you over. they don't move particularly fast but do make a considerable amount of noise but then again, we were in a spot were there were a dozen of them crisscrossing the plant!
 

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90 Bolts per day would be a few thousand a month or about 25,000 per year. How many Tesla's are being produced a year at this time?
Right now I think a total of ~104,000 units a year. Combined. They said their aiming for 500,000 by 2018. Not too sure how many of those are set to be Model 3... or projected to be
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Production process is advancing so much, they're probably able to crank out more than just two models on the same line if needed.

The Ben Stein range of emotions? Lol
Lol, even the Orion Plant GM had more personality and we only saw a glimpse of his face.
 

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Is anyone else puzzled why GM is producing 100 or less per day (only one shift at one plant with the line making other models, too--not even dedicated to Bolts)? Not even close to enough to meet demand for the whole country, and surely there would be advertising and marketing efficiencies from having more supply for the launch. Perhaps there is some supply chain limitation (like batteries) critically limiting production?
 

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Is anyone else puzzled why GM is producing 100 or less per day (only one shift at one plant with the line making other models, too--not even dedicated to Bolts)? Not even close to enough to meet demand for the whole country,
How in the world do you know what the demand for Bolts is?? I sure as **** don't. The only people that actually know is GM. Besides, the strategy of keeping something rare, exclusive and desirable is a proven way of keeping prices up and creating a buzz. It also reduces liability incase something goes wrong. Tesla does it every time, Apple does it, pretty much every company with anticipated hot new tech does it.

I personally think the demand for the Bolt is kind of shallow. I think the initial rush will be satisfied pretty quick as all the long time EV fans dump their LEAFs and i3s, and their compliance cars and pick up a Bolt, but they are pretty small in number in the big picture. Soon Chevrolet will have to sell the general public on this car and that's when there will be plenty to go around and better deals to be had.

Just be patient.
 

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When I called my local dealer in Ohio, he said by roughly May 2017 (!!) he should have Bolts to sell. Apple and other companies that play the game of keeping supply a bit short of demand still produce enough to meet most of demand at launch and leverage the media coverage. By May 2017 the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award for Bolt will be old news and media (to the extent it pays attention to EVs) will have moved on the expected summer Tesla Model 3 first shipments. Such a slow launch means delayed revenue and lost months of sales opportunity with strong competitive advantage before more EV competitors with comparable range become available. Good sales strategy is to leverage that advantage. Sure, I'm impatient, but it simply seems more likely to me that GM is facing some challenges to quicker scale-up. Or possibly, the ~30,000 annual unit volume forecast is so puny that the absolute profit potential is small enough that scale-up is not a high priority for a company of GM's size.
 

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When I called my local dealer in Ohio, he said by roughly May 2017 (!!) he should have Bolts to sell. Apple and other companies that play the game of keeping supply a bit short of demand still produce enough to meet most of demand at launch and leverage the media coverage. By May 2017 the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award for Bolt will be old news and media (to the extent it pays attention to EVs) will have moved on the expected summer Tesla Model 3 first shipments. Such a slow launch means delayed revenue and lost months of sales opportunity with strong competitive advantage before more EV competitors with comparable range become available. Good sales strategy is to leverage that advantage. Sure, I'm impatient, but it simply seems more likely to me that GM is facing some challenges to quicker scale-up. Or possibly, the ~30,000 annual unit volume forecast is so puny that the absolute profit potential is small enough that scale-up is not a high priority for a company of GM's size.
GM probably does not care about the Bolt. They had an EV car out years ago and smashed them at the end of the lease. They probably just wanna be the thorn in Testa side.
 

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When I called my local dealer in Ohio, he said by roughly May 2017 (!!) he should have Bolts to sell. Apple and other companies that play the game of keeping supply a bit short of demand still produce enough to meet most of demand at launch and leverage the media coverage. By May 2017 the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award for Bolt will be old news and media (to the extent it pays attention to EVs) will have moved on the expected summer Tesla Model 3 first shipments. Such a slow launch means delayed revenue and lost months of sales opportunity with strong competitive advantage before more EV competitors with comparable range become available. Good sales strategy is to leverage that advantage. Sure, I'm impatient, but it simply seems more likely to me that GM is facing some challenges to quicker scale-up. Or possibly, the ~30,000 annual unit volume forecast is so puny that the absolute profit potential is small enough that scale-up is not a high priority for a company of GM's size.
I think you're dreaming when you say Tesla Model 3 deliveries in the summer. It seems to be widely accepted that if Tesla delivers in 2017 at all, it will be a small trickle of fully loaded Model 3s sometime in the late fall and it won't be in Ohio. Sound familiar?

You're basically saying the Bolt has a shelf life of less then 5 months. If GM waits until May to fully roll out, it's all over for the Bolt and that sales potential will have evaporated by then. If this car is really this weak, why do want one so bad?

Other than a Model 3, who are these other strong contenders that will steal potential Bolt sales? I see none in the year of 2017. I think you're selling the Bolt short. I believe the Bolt will have all of 2017 as the obvious choice for most people's EV purchase. At this point, it is in a class of it's own.
 

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GM probably does not care about the Bolt. They had an EV car out years ago and smashed them at the end of the lease. They probably just wanna be the thorn in Testa side.
Why would GM care that much about Tesla? Do you have any idea how much it costs to develop and bring to market a car like the Bolt? That's very pricey thorn. If they really wanted to be a thorn, they should have built an uber fancy Cadillac EV and stole some Model S sales. Currently GM sells more Corvettes than all Teslas combined, so I don't think Tesla conquest sales are high in their priorities.

The way I see it, GM is one of four car companies that takes EVs serious and understand that they are the future, so they are laying foundations now to be a big player in the future. They understand that the demand for BEVs is very small now, but the market's growing and they are gaining experience that other companies will have to play catch up, or license their tech later on.
 

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Modern car factories blow my mind. The way they can now build completely different cars on the same assembly line simultaneously. The Bolt shares what with the Sonic? The steering wheel or something? Pretty much nothing as far as I can tell.
People think that what companies like GM are all about is car manufacturing. But the reality is that their biggest asset is the knowledge of how to build and manage flexible factories - factories that can minimize manufacturing costs and turn on a dime to accommodate new car models without having to be torn apart and rebuilt to do it. Being able to build multiple vehicles on the same line is part of that flexibility. It's economically unfeasible to have a different assembly line for every model of car they sell, so if they couldn't mix models on the same line then they'd have to predict demand for the Bolt ahead of time, build that many, and then retool the assembly line for something else. And if their prediction was wrong then they'd be screwed - they'd either waste money building too many or loose out on profits by not building enough to meet demand.

That's why GM is ramping production up slowly - their factory flexibility lets them dip their toe in the water to see what the demand is, and then scale up as needed for almost no cost. It's the smart way to go because it minimizes potential losses if demand is weak without sacrificing the potential to sell lots of cars if demand is strong. And it also helps them to better manage the rollout process and focus their dealer training and support efforts on each area in turn instead of having to cover the entire country at once.
 

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That's why GM is ramping production up slowly - their factory flexibility lets them dip their toe in the water to see what the demand is, and then scale up as needed for almost no cost. It's the smart way to go because it minimizes potential losses if demand is weak without sacrificing the potential to sell lots of cars if demand is strong. And it also helps them to better manage the rollout process and focus their dealer training and support efforts on each area in turn instead of having to cover the entire country at once.
Good point and if demand ends up not being very strong in California, then they know there won't be much demand anywhere else in the country.
 
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