General Motors will delay until sometime during the second half of 2012 its plan to add a second shift at the Detroit plant producing its much-ballyhooed Chevrolet Volt.
The maker insists that even on a single shift it can meet the sales goals it has set for the plug-in hybrid for 2011 and the even more ambitious numbers it has targeted for next year. But with retail sales still running slow, it appears GM may be leaving a bit of wiggle room in those figures as it races to triple sales of the Volt during the final three months of the year.
The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, known locally as Poletown, went down for an extensive changeover during the summer. The factory, which produces vehicles for several GM brands, as well as the Volt, was to add a second shift this autumn and continue ramping up production of all those various models.
But most of the attention has focused on the Volt. The maker has said the Poletown plant would turn out 16,000 battery cars this year, including some sold abroad as the Opel Ampera. The total also was to include at least one demonstrator vehicle for each of the 2,600 Chevy dealers in the U.S. But the goal was to complete retail sales of 10,000 Volts in the States by year-end.