An explosion at the General Motors battery lab is unlikely to have any impact on the newfound sales momentum of the Chevrolet Volt, contended the brand’s marketing chief.
The maker certainly has to hope so, considering the brief setback in sales that followed word of several fires involving Volt batteries following federal crash tests last year. Demand for the plug-in hybrid slumped sharply during the first two months of this year – though sales rebounded in March as U.S. fuel prices soared towards record levels.
“They weren’t even testing a Volt battery,” said Chris Perry, vice president of global marketing for Chevrolet, during an appearance at a charity event in Detroit.
GM appeared to have turned the corner with Volt in March when sales rose to 50% more than their previous peak due to a push to fill the pipeline to dealers across the country. But last week’s explosion, which injured six employees – sending one to the hospital – has once again raised issues about
the dangers inherent in lithium-ion batteries.