General Motors has withdrawn a request for $14.4 billion in low-interest loans it was seeking through the Department of Energy, proclaiming it has enough cash to fund the development of battery cars and other high-mileage models.
The news came on the same day the maker said it will speed up the roll-out of its highly-touted Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. The original plan called for GM to provide about 10,000 Volts – recently voted North American Car of the Year – to dealers in select markets this year, then expand nationwide in 2012. GM is now looking to boost production to 25,000 or more in 2011 and to get some of the battery-based vehicles to all its dealers before year’s end.
“We’re confident of our progress and the strong global performance of our company,” GM’s global design director Ed Welburn said during an appearance at the Washington Auto Show.