A gun rack on a Chevy Volt?

General Motors gets some unwanted attention as one Republican presidential candidate questions proposed subsidies for the electric car.

By Kim Peterson Feb 22, 2012 2:25PM
Chevrolet Volt (© ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)General Motors (GM) is getting pulled into campaign politics again, and this time the company is fighting back.

The automaker is standing up to Newt Gingrich's claims that the $40,000 Volt is an "Obama car" that shouldn't get government subsidies because it's purchased mainly by the wealthy. "You can't put a gun rack in a Volt," Gingrich said in this video, drawing lots of cheers and laughter from the crowd.

The company took to its blog to say that, actually, you can put a gun rack on a Volt. But the real question, GM asked, is why would you. It looks weird, doesn't work very well, and would be like putting training wheels on a Harley. "Seriously, when is the last time you saw a gun rack in ANY sedan?" executive Selim Bingol asked on the GM blog.

There are better places for gun racks and training wheels, like pickups and little Schwinns, he said. And he added this zinger as a title: "We did not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag."

Then a Volt owner in Georgia decided to take the conversation up a notch. He actually made a gun rack for his Volt out of PVC pipe and hooks, affixed it to his car with rope and made a video of the whole thing.

The Huffington Post reports that the Volt owner, John McDole, is a Republican who works for Google (GOOG). McDole said he made the video as a "response to Newt Gingrich's cheap shots at the American designed, American made, and American powered" Volt.

The responses seem not to address a central point of Gingrich's claim, however. Should a car bought mostly by wealthy Americans get government subsidies? Could the money be used better elsewhere?

At any rate, expect GM to be a huge political punching bag this year. The government still owns 26.5% of the company and needs the share price to rise before it can sell. The government got those shares after its $49.5 billion bailout of GM and so far has recouped about $22.3 billion, The Associated Press reports.

In order to break even on the rest, it must wait for GM shares to hit about $53. But that will probably take a while, as GM shares were trading at less than $27 Wednesday.

Tags: gmGOOG
Feb 22, 2012 3:01PM
Just think... If Americans bought American cars the bailout never would have happened!
Feb 22, 2012 3:17PM
If GM is making SO much money these day,as they claim,why don't they just pay back the money they "borrowed" in real dollars,and in exchange,they can have back their "half" value shares??  Makes sense to this taxpayer!  I'm sure GM doesn't see it that way....
Feb 22, 2012 2:46PM

Although I own a Silverado, I believe that chevy has no room to talk until the entire debt is paid back to the tax payer share holders.

Feb 22, 2012 2:47PM
Sweeeeeet!!! Put me down as a buyer. Wait: $40,000 dollars. I'll buy a used Taurus instead and save 60% of the price. Sorry, union folks. i ain't buying junk.
Most of these comments are really stupid! The poor get paid not to work! Gas prices have climbed no matter who is in office. Both parties don't care about America. The middle class pay for it all!
Feb 22, 2012 2:50PM
gun racks are good to have  and guns are better, the volt is another story. I think the car is a waste of money and I would not buy one. This is said by a person who owns a chevy, ford and dodge
Feb 22, 2012 6:02PM
End ALL subsidies. The Federal government has no business picking winners and losers. Even if you don't believe in the free market you should be smart enough to realize that those in government will ALWAYS pick their buddies to be the "winners" (think Bush and Haliburton or Obama and Solyndra) whether or not the company or the industry is worth the risk.
Feb 22, 2012 4:17PM
"Volt is unique among electric vehicles because you have two sources of energy. You have an electric source–a battery–that allows you to drive gas–free for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. And there's also an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so you can go up to a total of 375 additional miles on a full tank of gas". Seamless, selectable driving people. Just a little different from the current Hydrids (Prius) and is still a very viable car.  I would certainly buy a Volt only My Prius is still in great shape at 220,000 miles. Read This - ABSOLUTELY NO BATTERY ISSUES!  Please educate yourselves - most of you do not have a clue what you are talking about.  Don't need to have a Gun Rack in my Prius, I usually carry them in a case - even when I drive my Chevy Truck, or my Wife's Jeep Commander Hemi.  Save the money during your weekly commute and drive what you want on the weekend.  Pure Republican here, but I believe in saving money and I don't want to use any more OPEC gas than I have to.
Feb 22, 2012 5:33PM
The U.S. spent 7.3 trillion dollars in the last three decades protecting oil shipments from the Persian gulf. The energy produced to run electric cars will come from natural gas as over 70% of new generation comes from this source. I for one like to see the billions spent on gasoline go to the U.S. natural gas and renewable companies instead of our enemies.

Feb 22, 2012 3:12PM

I can't believe the U.S.government is still a 25%+ owner in a private company (Government Motors), and is therefore, directly competing with the other American car company.  How many inside government rules,regulations and decrees have and will be used against Ford to increase the value of the Obama-owned GM stock just to make sure Obama will get the money back that he gave to the unions?  I will never own an Obamamobile.

Feb 22, 2012 2:42PM
If Newt would have suggested it, it would have been a good idea.
Feb 22, 2012 3:33PM

Voters do not register by political  party in Georgia, so the Volt owner being a registered Republican is not correct.  No bid deal but do wonder why the writer had to throw in a misrepresentation.

Feb 22, 2012 3:30PM
im sorry i would not buy a volt because its $40,000and less usable than a used yugo. 36 miles on a charge? thats LESS gas mileage than a 1968 chevy camaro with a big block and blower on it. atleast when the camaro runs out of gas it doesn't take 12 hours to charge only to go 36 more miles. also dont forget were just putting more strain on power companies who make more of the air pullution than cars do. and by putting more battery cars on the road were not helping the enviorment at all were just transferring more of the damage from cars to the power plants. save your money and the environment get a gas-powered car like an mr2 costs 2,000 and gets 25-30 mpg.
Feb 22, 2012 3:14PM
Government Motors is a threat to the Galactic Empire!!!!!
 Till they pay back every penny, they should just shut there mouths and
 make products the people can afford!!!  The volt is a piece of crap that
 only rich liberals can afford anyways!!!! Rich liberals are a bigger threat
 to the Empire!!!!!!!

Feb 22, 2012 3:14PM

I'm sorry, $40k, 36 miles on a charge, whats the use? I cannot justify this, not after i got burned by gm too many times already starting in the 70"s with the vega,and the gm diesels,the 80"s with the chevy powered cadillacs and oldsmobiles, the 90's with the 4.1 and northstar cadillacs . no, no, no more gm's for me  I now own 3  ford products, a far superior product!

Feb 22, 2012 2:51PM
Poor Newt,,,grasping at straws~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Feb 22, 2012 4:08PM

I hate to tell our National Socialist president that a Chevy Volt doesn't work on a farm. I tried to take a load of hogs to market in one it doesn't work to good. If the government Chevy Volt are so good, why don't the Whitehouse drive them. But I guess that is the same reason that they have a different health care then us too. Amounts about the same doesn't it Liberals.

Feb 22, 2012 5:44PM
Really tired - Where to you get off saying because someone drives a Toyota they are a Liberal. I'm a Liberal with a Yukon, Pacifica, and a Harley Davidson. My Conservative Uncle and his kids ALL drive foreign cars while my Democratic family all drive/ride American vehicles. Your generalization is pure bull sht. And you sound like an absolute tool when post such ideas.
Feb 22, 2012 4:17PM

They should allow golf carts on the roads. All the advantage of electric cars without the bloated union price tag.

Feb 22, 2012 3:40PM

Problem with the Volt - 40K. That's about what most people make a year + or - 10.


So people buy other cars that are fuel efficient - you can put gun racks in there too.

People flock to Kia's and Hyundais for a reason - price point and lower wages. Cmon man... And you know this.... Low wages force cheaper cars to be made due to demand and crappy used car market with gas guzzlers.

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