Obama’s Chevy Volt, Fiat 500 Among Biggest Flops of 2011

By Matt Cover | January 5, 2012 | 3:58pm EST

President Barack Obama test drives a Chevy Volt on July 30, 2011. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Chevy Volt and Fiat 500 were among the top product flops of 2011, according to Yahoo Finance. The cars were among the type of fuel-efficient vehicles touted by President Barack Obama as being the future of the government-owned GM and bailed-out Chrysler.

The Volt, Chevy’s entry into the government-subsidized electric vehicle market, came in as the third worst product flop of 2011, behind only Netflix’s disastrous Qwikster service, and a much-derided push-up bikini bra for preteen girls from Abercrombie & Fitch.

Obama himself drove the Volt in a July 30, 2011 visit to a GM manufacturing facility in Hamtrack, Michigan.

President Obama at a GM factory in Hamtrack, Mich., July 30, 2011, where he praised the Chevy Volt as the type of vehicle to help the economy and U.S. energy concerns. (AP Photo)

“GM (GM) was originally so excited about the Volt that the company had announced in January it was speeding up its roll-out by six months. But by November the excitement had fizzled out,” Yahoo Finance noted.

“Indeed, sales for the vehicle have been consistently low,” said Yahoo. “Only 125 models were sold in July 2011.”

The Fiat 500, Fiat’s small car that was a cornerstone of the 2009 deal to bail out the failed automaker, was named the sixth worst flop of 2011. Fiat’s ability to make small, super-fuel-efficient cars was a driving factor in the administration’s decision to circumvent the normal bankruptcy process and engineer a government-led bailout of the failed Chrysler corporation.

“This year, Fiat released its new 500 -- a three-door car that is under 12 ft. long. The car was expected to be a big seller, rivaling BMW’s Mini. Even before the car’s launch, however, detractors were predicting failure,” Yahoo reported.

“Sales were so poor that Chrysler Group, which manages the Fiat brand in the United States, ousted U.S. chief Laura Soave this past November,” said Yahoo.

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