Sunday, August 9, 2009

GM's Manufactured Buzz, All 230 Volts

What Is 230? General Motors wants you to get all excited about an unveiling coming up on August 11, 2009. They have launched a website, Flickr photostream, YouTube channel, Facebook group, blog, and are actively Tweeting “I spotted 230. #whatis230”

The campaign launched in early March as there are a set of photos from March 19, 2009 in New York City where t-shirts were handed out to passers by (3/19/09 is the date on all of the photos in the Flickr stream, though they were uploaded on August 9.) Since then, there’s been the website and some ads running on Hulu promoting the event.

But what is the event? I follow several automotive enthusiasts on Twitter and several of them are being flown in to Detroit for an event on Monday. It’s pretty safe to assume this effort is related to the 230 announcement GM is holding Tuesday. The campaign is all about buzz and engagement with social media auto enthusiasts is part of the effort to generate discussion.

An AdAge article on August 6 dug further into the matter but GM wouldn’t say a thing. We do know from the article that Meghan Winger, a staffer of Chicago agency All Terrain, is the creator of the What Is 230 group. Other guesses from readers include the following:
  • Number of days until GM files bankruptcy again
  • 230 is the MPG of the Chevy Volt
  • Price of the new Volt - $230,000
  • 230 days until delivery of the Volt
Most people definitely think this is Chevy Volt related and with All Terrain having Chevy as their top client it is a pretty reasonable guess. But what else can GM reveal about the Chevy Volt that people don’t already know? I think it is not about the Volt; though, it is about Chevrolet. Maybe GM is getting ready to announce another electric vehicle product? Guess we’ll find out Tuesday.

UPDATE 8/11/2009: Seems I was wrong. There was some news about the Volt that hadn't been shared - fuel economy numbers. Though, I find it odd that the EPA rating is out a year before vehicle introduction. Strange? Anyway, the 230 refers to 230 MPG city driving and the Volt is expected to have a combined MPG rating with three digits. More at the Wall Street Journal. Also, a great article from John Voelcker of on the math behind the Volt's 230 MPG rating.

1 comment:

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