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GM Temporarily Halting Production of Chevy Volt

But maker insists sales of the plug-in are increasing rapidly.

by on Aug.28, 2012

A Chevrolet Volt moves down the assembly line at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center.

For the second time this year, General Motors will halt production of the Chevrolet Volt for several weeks — but company sources insist the move does not signal problems with the plug-in hybrid which got off to a slow start after its introduction in December 2010.

In fact, GM expects to report that demand has surged to a record for the Volt this month, more than doubling year ago levels. Depending on what happens the rest of this week, August sales could near 2,500, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

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“The sky is not falling,” insisted a well-placed GM source involved in the Volt program. In fact, Dealers across the country have less Volt inventory in stock than that of some other mainstream Chevrolet models.

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GM Shutting Down Volt Production for Five Weeks

But February sales showed 60% sales jump.

by on Mar.02, 2012

GM will temporarily down production of the Chevrolet Volt to bring inventory into sync with demand.

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.

The Final Word!

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.

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GM Delaying Volt’s 2nd Shift – But Maker Claims Sales Still on Target

“We’re on target,” but the definition may be shifting.

by on Oct.07, 2011

Chevy will have to triple sales in the final quarter to meet sales targets for the Volt.

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.

The Final Word!

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.

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Volt Plant to Shut for Retooling, Allowing Expanded Production

Upgrades at plant will also allow GM to build 2013 Chevrolet Malibu there.

by on Jun.09, 2011

GM will temporarily shut down the plant where the Chevrolet Volt is built for retooling and to allow for expanded production.

General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, home of the Chevrolet Volt, will close for four weeks beginning in June for planned upgrades to prepare for a significant increase in the rate of Volt production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.

Already in tight supply, the number of Volts available for delivery to retail customers will be further restricted  before production resumes. At that point, GM will begin producing the Volt and the Opel Ampera for export to Europe and China.

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“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”

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After Slow Start, GM Ramping Up Volt Production

Maker also preparing to export plug-in hybrid.

by on May.19, 2011

A Chevy Volt rolls down the assembly line.

Despite all the breathless headlines and accolades, sales of a new generation of battery cars have gotten off to a slow start – in part due to the consciously slow ramp-up of production by makers like General Motors and Nissan.

But more of the vehicles will be rolling off the assembly line in the weeks ahead.  General Motors, in particular, says that after a brief shutdown to re-tool for the 2012 model-year, it will sharply increase production of the new Chevrolet Volt, and should have 16,000 of the plug-in hybrids in dealer showrooms or customer hands by year’s end.

The Detroit plant building the Volt will be even busier next year, with production expected to surge as high as 60,000 – with a quarter of that volume earmarked for China and other overseas markets.

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“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt Marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”

Since the Volt came onto the market at the end of 2010 sales have been modest, at best, barely topping the 1,000 mark, though GM has insisted that is the result of limited availability, rather than low demand.  Nissan has made the same argument about it Leaf battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, which also debuted in December of last year.  By the end of May, total Leaf sales will only approach 2,000, according to industry analysts.

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Initial Chevy Volt Production to Triple in 2012

Maker reveals dealer plans, other details for upcoming debut.

by on Jul.01, 2010

Not quite coast-to-coast. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt launch will kick off with a 1,766-mile drive from Austin to Detroit, while seven states will now be part of the E-REV's launch.

General Motors expects to produce only about 10,000 of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids by the end of 2011, as it ramps up operations, expands distribution and trains dealers and service technicians, but the maker says it will triple output to 30,000 of the so-called Extended-Range Electric Vehicles, or E-REVs, in 2012.

General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre returned to his home state of Texas, today, to kick off the start of the Volt “Freedom Drive,” a 1,766-mile demonstration trip that will take a Chevy Volt from Austin to New York City.  Those two cities anchor two other regions of the country that GM has decided to add to its list of launch sites when Volt makes its formal entrance into the retail market in November.

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In all, the automaker plans to start with sales in six states – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Michigan and Texas – and Washington, D.C.  Confirming an earlier report in TheDetroitBureau.com, GM officials also confirmed that a full roll-out of the Volt to all 50 states and Canada could take a little longer than originally planned.

The current goal is to complete that process “within 12 to 18 months,” which could push the end date back into 2012, acknowledged Doug Wernert, the Chevrolet VoltAge Community Manager.

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