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IBM Jolts GM's Volt

The Volt costs $41,000, or $33,500 after a federal rebate. Critics have said that is too high, but Bly said dealers have orders that exceed the total of 10,000 Volts, which GM hopes to produce in the first model year between November and June. Next year, production could reach 45,000, he said.

In some respects, the introduction of the Volt recalls the introduction of the Saturn in 1990. Initially, it was widely applauded as a symbol of how American automakers could replicate the success of the Japanese, and every company associated with the project sought to publicize its involvement. But Saturn shut down on October 31, as the Volt was being introduced.

Bly was an engine on the first Saturn engine. "Saturn was a great exercise," he said. "We ran it for 20 years. We learned a lot from it -- I don't think it failed."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>to contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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