The article was from December, 2016...roughly around the launch of the car. I found this interesting:
"Darin Gesse, senior manager of GM product strategy, admitted that design took a second seat to function. “We talked to customers about what they wanted and it all came down to range and price and range,” he said. “Everything else wasn’t even second on the list; it was like 9th.”
This proves that you can go through the focus group exercise, painstakingly research what customers "want", deliver on those objectives - but still fall well short of the mark. While GM can be applauded for accomplishing the seemingly essential criteria of a 200+ mile EV at a price point, clearly the rest of the car also happened to matter. The "everything else", 9th place stuff on the list was ignored. I wonder if "beautiful design" was 9th on the list. Perhaps "comfortable seats" were #10 on the list.
IMHO, the Bolt project was like a bunch of newly-minted MBA's were contracted to design, and market the next electric car. Not one "car guy" was in the room.
On paper, the Bolt is a home-run success. A Tesla killer. A game changer. Analysts estimated between 30,000 - 80,000 units sold in the first year. http://www.autoblog.com/2016/05/09/2017 ... rediction/
The Bolt ended up being a nondescript econobox, that happens to be electric - barely managing 1000 units sold per month. Really, should we be surprised when logic and numbers dictated the project's outcome?
I think the Bolt could have been so much more, but at least GM's customers got what they wanted.