GM To Curb Production Of Chevy Volts. Again.
It what should be the least shocking news to anyone even remotely familiar with the car business, General Motors is set to stop production of the Chevy Volt for the second time this year. From the Wall Street Journal:
General Motors said it plans to suspend production of its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt for 26 days as part of a move to pare excess inventory.
Production of the Volt at its Hamtramck, Mich., plant is set to stop Sept. 17 and resume on Oct. 12, a GM spokeswoman confirmed. It is the second time this year output has been idled due to soft demand for the electric vehicle.
GM will use the downtime to prep the assembly line for building the 2014 Chevrolet Impala starting early next year, the spokeswoman said. The plant already produces a small number of the Chevrolet Malibu sedans and the European version of the Volt, known as the Opel Ampera.
About 1,400 hourly workers will be affected by the production suspension.
The Volt has been heavily promoted by GM as an example of the company’s technological prowess. But it also has been criticized as a boondoggle by critics of GMs 2009 financial rescue by the U.S government. Supporters of the bailout, including President Barack Obama, say the Volt represents an innovative step forward. Detractors point to the Volt’s weak sales as an example of the government pressing GM to build a car that meets policy goals but isn’t in sync with U.S. consumers. GM shut the Hamtramck plant for five weeks earlier this year after a prolonged holiday shutdown.
The problem with the Chevy Volt is exactly what this article says, it may very well meet with the goals of the Obama Administration, but this car simply has not meshed with what consumers want. Even with the government providing a tax-credit for this vehicle, a $40,000 compact car is never going to make it mainstream and is certainly not a product that is going to save General Motors.