Even as it confirms plans to add another 1,000 jobs to boost its battery car program, General Motors said it is contemplating whether to expand production of the new Chevrolet Volt.
GM CEO Dan Akerson, while stopping short of saying the Volt will be a runaway hit, says he has asked for a study of whether it’s feasible to ramp up production of a vehicle that was supposed to undergo a slow and cautious roll-out reflecting both uncertain demand and the challenge of producing an entirely new type of powertrain technology.
For 2011, GM originally targeted production of just 10,000 Chevy Volts, with the figure to climb to 45,000 in 2011. But speaking at the official launch of production at the GM assembly plant in Detroit, Tuesday morning, Akerson said, “My sense is there is going to be a lot of demand for this vehicle.”
(Akerson spoke publicly for the first time after GM’s November 18 IPO, a stock offering he described as “successful beyond expectations.” Click Here for that story.)
The so-called “Poletown” assembly plant is currently operating on only one shift so GM has at least the plant capacity to bump up Volt production. Battery-pack production could be a potential bottleneck, however, if demand for the Volt takes off.