​GM CEO: Prius Electric Car Is Geek-Mobile

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December 12, 2010

GM CEO: Prius electric car is geek-mobile. GM CEO Daniel Akerson knocks the Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle during a speech. Akerson also wants to pay his execs more to keep them at the company.

“We commonly refer to the geek-mobile as the Prius. And I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Prius.” GM CEO Daniel Akerson said during the speech. GM’s rival Chevrolet Volt electric “actually looks good.” The comment sparked an immediate reaction from Toyota.

“He’s new over there; he probably doesn’t remember the EV1. Toyota has sold more than 2 million Prius hybrids worldwide, and counting. Those buyers can’t all be geeks,” Toyota spokesman Wade Hoyt said in a statement. GM discontinued the EV1 in the 1990s and refused to let drivers their cars outright at the end of their leases. The automaker destroyed the cars to eliminate any legal liability. Critics accuse them of deliberately killing the electric car.

The CEO also wants GM to pay his execs more to keep the best, and relax the pay limits. Akerson was to meet later in the day with federal officials who oversee executive compensation for companies that received bailouts. “We have to be competitive. We have to be able to attract and retain great people,” Akerson said.