Behind the Scenes with Chevy VOLT: First Visit to New Canaan!
Late last week, while sitting at his desk working up a quote for a customer, Steve Karl was greeted by a gentleman in his office doorway who introduced himself as "Manager of Residual Values" for General Motors. No big deal; we get visits from lots of GM Executives here at KARL Chevrolet as our dealership is close to GM's Northeast Regional Offices. But it was Leo Burns' next statement that got Steve's attention: "Do you have a minute to come outside and check out the all new 2011 Chevy VOLT?"
As Steve recalls, he wasn't sure if he was walking out to find "the crew from Candid Camera lurking behind him; or even worse, Aston Kutcher from the MTV show 'punk'd." But no, this was the real deal. He walked Steve outside to prove he wasn't joking, and sure enough, there it was in hard, cold sheet metal: the 2011 Chevy VOLT. A beautiful Viridian Joule Metallic tintcoat exterior with the Cashmere and Ebony Leather interior, sitting right outside our showroom door. After that, it didn't take long for word to spread throughout the dealership and before you could blink there were 25-30 of our employees and customers surrounding this incredible machine.
As Steve recalls, "All of the reading, the training, consumer questions, auto show viewing, GM meetings and extensive media coverage we have all absorbed for almost three years now had finally culminated with an actual completed production vehicle at our store. Words cannot accurately describe the feeling I quickly jumped behind the wheel and put my seat belt on. Whether he liked it or not Leo Burns was not leaving the store until I was able to actually drive this car! Initially he gave the company line “Sorry, unfortunately due to insurance issues my hands are a little tied on test drives”. Of course all I had to hear was the word “little” and the door was ajar as I only wanted a “little” test drive anyway! After Leo noticed that I had adjusted the seat, mirrors and started the car already (keyless car but because the remote was in his pocket I already had the silent electric power plant running) he found out I wasn’t backing down. This was my mini “Tiananmen square” right in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />
The first thing I noticed as I accelerated up
As for the interior of the car, the gauges are impressive to look at as well as touch with a completely different feel to them. (Almost like typing on a brand new Apple keyboard as compared to an outdated IBM keyboard.) As for the standard technology in the car Bluetooth, back up camera, XM radio, Ipod, MP3, USB, OnStar, Navigation and driver info center make for a state of the art vehicle. We also checked out the front and rear parking sensors and even played with the “Cricket Churp” feature located on the steering wheel stalk that allows you to alert pedestrians that you are near- nice!
Upon our return to the dealership Mr Burns demonstrated how easy it was to plug in the Volt using the standard extension cord with specially designed plug and noted how the vehicle alarm would be triggered should anyone unauthorized unplug the vehicle prematurely. After fielding what seemed like over a hundred questions from the friendly crowd that had reassembled around the Volt it was time for Mr Burns to depart. We all watched longingly as he silently drove away (until of course he gave us a parting “Cricket Churp”!!)"