After Record Sales, Chevy Volt Production To Resume A Week Early

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

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Buoyed by record monthly sales of its Chevy Volt hybrid electric plug-in car in March, General Motors will resume production of the Volt at the Detroit Hamtramck plant one week early, the United Auto Workers told Talking Points Memo on Tuesday night.

“They’re adding a week of production back in,” said Don LaForest, the chairman of the UAW’s bargaining committee at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, where the Volt is manufactured, in a phone interview.

GM in early March startled observers by announcing a temporary hold on Volt production scheduled for five weeks, from March 19 to April 23, during which time employees would be temporarily laid-off but receive SUB pay.

At the time, GM and the UAW told TPM that hold was “totally normal,” and put in place to “re-align” supply of the Volt with demand, following sluggish sales in January at just 603 units.

But now, thanks to the GM’s news on Monday that the Volt sold a record 2,289 units in March, employees will be coming back to work a week early.

“We received note of it yesterday,” LaForest added, “It was widely rumored that GM would put a week back onto the schedule, but now it’s confirmed. It’s very good news.”

Still, LaForest noted that the Detroit Hamtramck plant would be shut down in the summer for two weeks for routine maintenance of equipment, plus one week to re-align Volt supply with demand. LaForest said the UAW was still hopeful GM could shave one week off that temporary shutdown as well.

More to the point, LaForest said UAW workers remained confident in the Volt’s propensity for success, and that many at the plant were bewildered and angered by the verbal attacks on the American-made car by Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney on Tuesday and earlier, Newt Gingrich.

“Anybody who’s been in a Volt knows it’s not a boondoggle, they know it’s for real,” LaForest told Talking Points Memo. “I don’t think Newt or Mitt have said a single negative thing about the Nissan Leaf,” (the Volt’s Japanese competitor).

“They’re attacking our car to get at the President,” LaForest said. “But our car is going to change the way America does business. It’s a breath of fresh air.”

This article, written by Carl Franzen, was originally published on TalkingPointsMemo, an editorial partner of GreenCarReports.


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Comments (13)
  1. What is "SUB pay"?

    No matter what happens with Volt sales, I hope GM continues to closely manage inventory. There is no point producing more product than can be sold. That does not help anyone. In my personal experience, excess production is a disaster and denial is not a good way to create a sales forecast.

  2. I think SUB pay refers to terms in their union contract where they are still paid even when the plant shuts down temporarily.

  3. Guess that is a good way to retain your workforce during a shutdown.

  4. I am glad that the Volt is stating to sell well. I could see a day soon where all the older inefficient gasoline vehicles could be replaced by efficient electric hybrids where the gasoline engine only drives a range extending generator to provide electricity for the EV drive. As to large vehicles like trucks will we some day see diesel electric hybrids where the truck is propeled by a high torque electric motor? This could be great news since electric motors excel at having 100% of the torque they produce avaible with out having to rev the engines like in traditional gas or diesel engine trucks.

  5. I was at a stop light next to a very noise diesel FedEx truck yesterday. Electric drive for trucks will surely be appreciated.

  6. The tides are starting to turn.

  7. Ssshh. Don't say it to loud. The oil and gasser industry might hear you and ramp up their negative EV campaigns.

  8. Let the oil companies continue getting high off the fumes and skyrocketing gas prices. Let's blindside them and let the EV revolution come as a surprise.

    Driving to and from work I see the gallon inching up to $4. It really ticks me off how they are relentlessly ripping off the public. We should nationalize these greedy oil corporations for the public’s interest. Don't we, the public, own the ground they are drilling? If we start talking about nationalizing them, perhaps it will bring them back to their senses.

  9. It is not the oil companies that are ripping off the public, sorry to break your hearts. It is the Government that is ripping off the public by printing money and devaluing the dollar that is creating mass inflation. The Federal Government is making more money off of gas that the oil companies through regulation taxes and environmental taxes also to slowly increase gas prices to push the sheople into buying EVs. I ask that you really look at the impact of the environment that these so called "environmentally safe" electric cars are really making through production to the junk yard. Gas is not harming the environment as bad as you really are led to believe, as the battery acid is to the environment.

  10. Actually, I don't think that's true. According to this infographic, the crude-oil cost component of a gallon of gas is 66 percent of the price, and taxes are only 11 percent.

    The taxes can go as high as 20 percent, but the notion that the Federal government takes more in revenue out of your gasoline than the oil companies do is simply false.

  11. "battery acid"?

    Two points
    1) lead acid batteries are highly recycled (better than 99%). This recycling includes, lead, acid, and plastic case.

    2) No modern EV is using Lead-acid batteries. They all use Li-Ion.

    Also, wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about who's fault it is that gas prices are high? If you own an EV, you will not care about gas prices.

  12. If you think the American government is to blame how come here in the UK and many other places around the world fuel prices are going up.Your lucky to have four dollar/gallon we are twice that! There is a big move toward renewables here with huge off shore wind farms being constructed and I have lost count of the PV arrays on roof tops where five years ago there were none.
    Your remarks show your not very well informed.

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