The concept of a halo product in a product lineup is nothing new. The goal is to release a product that has a high public profile while attracting a significant amount of attention to sell more of its other products. For the auto industry, halo products have usually been expensive sports cars — think Corvette for Chevy, Mustang Shelby GT500 for Ford, Supra for Toyota… to name a few. But is it possible that the Chevy Volt is a new breed of halo car — one of a more environmentally-friendly nature?
In effect, the real question is whether the Volt has the potential to, first, attract a large amount of attention and, second, transfer it to other vehicles in the Bowtie’s lineup… much akin to a gateway drug, for those familiar.
The Volt could be resounding halo success if — and only if — it’s a remarkable sales success (which it insofar is not) and/or it becomes a magnetizing topic of discussion that permeates the mainstream (which it hasn’t yet become).
In my opinion, the Volt can be considered a halo car for Chevrolet only if it achieves those two criteria. Until then, Chevy will have to make do with the Corvette and Camaro as its halo jewels… too bad those don’t appeal to the environmentally-friendly types.