According to Reuters, GM is losing up to $49,000 for every Volt they sell:
Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts. GM on Monday issued a statement disputing the estimates.
That’s a pretty loud statement, right? The problem is, it’s not accurate. Let’s hear Jalopnik’s take:
The problem is, all this assumes that 21,500 is all the Volts that will ever sell, and, think whatever you want about the car, that’s not the case. The Volt R&D isn’t just for one solitary model— it’s for several generations of cars that will share and develop the basic Volt underpinnings.
Developing a car like the Volt costs a small fortune. And the folks at Jalopnik are astute enough to note that this technology will power many different models, and several generations of those models. No one expected GM to make money on the first generation of Volt.
Toyota lost money for years on the Prius before turning a profit. When you’re making a bold push forward, like GM is, you have to take it in the shorts for awhile.