Talk-show host and comedian Jay Leno has long been known as a car fan and collector. And car companies often play nice with him to get their products onto his show.
While GM worked with Leno on his EcoJet green sports car in 2006, the company is hardly a patsy.
2011 Chevrolet Volt in Waco, Texas, en route during the 1,776-mile Freedom Drive PR stunt
Leno told the Detroit News that the Volt reminded him of a Chevrolet Cobalt or Toyota Camry, and that he didn't think owning one of the first Volts would give a driver much "cachet."
General Motors spokesman Rob Peterson promptly responded--gently but firmly--that the audience for green and plug-in cars differs quite a lot from the Bob's Big Boy crowd that Leno cited as uninterested in the Volt.
Then he zinged Leno right back by noting that GM had already displayed the Volt at the very drive-in that Leno mentioned, where he said it attracted lots of favorable attention.
To Leno's point, some critics feel that the Volt's styling is less distinctive than either the 2010 Toyota Prius--the definitive hybrid vehicle--or the new 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car. Low Volt production volumes mean that GM will likely sell every one it builds regardless.
Ford Focus BEV for The Jay Leno Show's Green Car Challenge