Facing a significant backlog of unsold inventory, General Motors will shut down production of the Chevrolet Volt for five weeks.
The maker has notified 1,300 workers at the GM plant in Detroit that they will be idled from March 19th through April 23rd while assembly operations at idled. But the maker insists the latest setback is not a sign of long-term problems for the plug-in hybrid, noting that Volt sales in February jumped 70% over the prior month.
“We’re going to do what we need to the keep production in line with what the market demands,” said GM spokesperson Michelle Malcho.
She noted that demand has been recovering in the wake of reports, late last year, that several Volt battery packs had caught fire following federal crash tests. After briefly opening an investigation into the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Chevy Volt a clean bill of health when GM announced it would take several steps to further reduce the risk of battery problems. The maker has stressed there have been no such incidents involving Volts in real-world use.