Skip to main content

Does Chevy risk the Osborne effect by announcing and advertising its new Volt early? [video]


The Osborne effect is described as:

The Osborne effect is a term referring to the unintended consequences of a company pre-announcement made either unaware of the risks involved or when the timing is misjudged, which ends up having a negative impact on the sales of the current product. This is often the case when a product is announced too long before its actual availability. This has the immediate effect of customers canceling or deferring orders for the current product, knowing that it will soon be obsolete, and any unexpected delays often means the new product comes to be perceived as vaporware, damaging the company’s credibility and profitability.

The term was coined after the Osborne Computer Corporation, in which the company took more than a year to make its next product available and eventually ran out of cash and went bankrupt in 1985.

I think this is something that as a company with tech roots, Tesla, understands. They were pumping out Model Ses with driver assist hardware before the announcement was even made (and had a few leaks as a result). The same with the P85D. You could buy one as soon as it was announced and they shipped a few weeks after.

Chevy, on the other hand is advertising a far superior Volt 2016 at least 6 months ahead of when you can actually get one – without even a price. Who is going to buy the current Volt (without a very significant discount) when they know a better one is right around the proverbial corner?

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Stay up to date with the latest content by subscribing to Electrek on Google News. You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting