Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Volt Production Halted, No Big Shock

When it was announced that GM,  would be halting the manufacture of its infamous Chevrolet Volt for at least four weeks, few were shocked. The Volt was awarded the 2010 "car of the year" title, but since that time has received negative attention, it made news as a "hot little item" when problems arose with the car catching on fire. This is the second interruption in production for the Volt, which can go 38 miles on battery power before needing a recharge from its gasoline engine or via a plug-in.

The Detroit-Hamtramck plant will suspend production from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15, Automotive News reports, they cited an "anonymous source." Apparently, UAW leaders informed the plant’s 1,500 union workers about the scheduled halt last week, according to said "anonymous source." Suppliers were also notified of the decision last week, according to another source. GM {the company that also sports the moniker Government Motors, because of its bailout with taxpayer money} claims suspension of production is not due to a lack of sales but that they are gearing up for production of the new Impala.”

GM cast a positive spin on the situation saying, “We are comfortable with our current inventory levels of these products, which allows us to take time for launch readiness of the Impala. This may include making certain areas of the line more efficient, address space constraints for incoming materials, provide additional training and more.” As of this writing, GM has sold 10,666 Volts through July, which, luckily for the automaker, is a major improvement over the 2,870 it sold at this time a year earlier. GM had made predictions that this year, over 45,000 units of the car would be sold in America, and many more in other countries.

GM executives have attributed stronger recent demand on a low-emissions version of the Volt which GM launched in March, it qualifies for California’s coveted carpool lanes,  previous versions of the Volt didn’t qualify. Some contribute the stronger, yet poor sales to large rebates and incentives as well as government purchases. Regardless, Volt inventories have been whittled down, too, to 6,500 units, or 84 days’ worth, as of Aug. 1. On March 1, just before the last production shutdown, GM had 154 days’ worth of the cars in inventory.



                   Footnote: I'm a strong believer in conservation and protecting the environment, but I do not think the Volt or GM is the answer. I also have a massive problem with government intervention in the business sector. If you have time please check out my post from April 28th, Electric Cars. The post is about Think Auto, another failure massively endorsed by the Obama administration as it pushed us towards a government contrived green future.

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