GM Makes 2012 Volt Production Line Tweaks, Delays 2nd Shift

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2011 Chevrolet Volt on Detroit-Hamtamck Produciton LIne

2011 Chevrolet Volt on Detroit-Hamtamck Produciton LIne

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Earlier this year, General Motors announced that it would start a second shift at its Detroit-Hamtramck factory some time towards the end of 2011 to meet its production goals for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt. 

But on Friday the company announced that it was shelving plans to introduce a second shift thanks to a redesign of the Hamtramck facility which it said could double the efficiency of the Volt production line. 

By carefully examining the production process, GM engineers identified several bottlenecks throughout the plant, which was slowing down the entire production line. Using a variety of measures, including employing more staff and adding additional automation, GM claims its engineers have eliminated these bottlenecks.

The result, GM says, is that a single shift at the Detroit-Hamtramck facility is now capable of producing the 60,000 Chevrolet Volts -- and its European sibling the Opel Ampera -- in the next twelve months. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View

2011 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Angular Front Exterior View

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Why delay plans to introduce a second shift? It’s all about the bottom line. 

“The decision will significantly reduce costs, and has no impact on the plant’s ability to make 60,000 Volts and Amperas,” GM spokesperson Chris Lee told the Associated Press on Friday.  “This approach is just a more efficient way to make the same number of vehicles.”

While GM has decided it won’t need to add a second shift to the Detroit-Hamtramck facility until it commences 2013 Chevrolet Malibu production at the end of 2012, it has already put plans underway to start a second shift at the factory where the Chevrolet Volt battery pack is assembled. 


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Comments (3)
  1. @Chris O, comments well taken overall, but from my POV, it's clearly the lack of supply. First, I just finally had my number come at for a Volt after seven months. It's still not even for sale in 43 states, either. I ended up passing this time because the dealer jacked the price up at the last minute but I'm still open to a Volt, just not with the same dealer.
    Actual production numbers for past months also tell the same story. I don't claim to know what GM will be able to sell in 2012, 2013, etc..., but the lack of sales to date is truly due to lack of supply. Once we have other options, though, will the Volt still sell, will the price come down, etc...? It will be interesting.
    The build numbers include about 3k for dealers, too.

  2. Thanks for reacting to my comment, however it seems to have disappeared from the site. I wonder if it was deleted for some reason (please explain....)or just a technical hick-up.

  3. GM is playing another stupid republican game. They have no intentions of delivering anything of valuer or to help the environment until another republican gets back in the president's seat. If you remember what GM's CEO said about Nissan when they came out with the Leaf...can you expect anything from a Dim-Wit like him? GM is doing everything they can to keep us in the Fossil Age and dependent on oil. "Drill Baby Drill!

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