2015 Chevrolet Volt Production Ends To Retool For All-New 2016 Volt Launch


First 2011 Chevrolet Volt built on production tooling at Detroit Hamtramck plant, March 31, 2010

First 2011 Chevrolet Volt built on production tooling at Detroit Hamtramck plant, March 31, 2010

Enlarge Photo

General Motors will stop production of the current-generation 2015 Chevrolet Volt next month as it prepares to launch the all-new 2016 model.

A production stoppage will give GM time to retool the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that builds the Volt for the new model.

But in this case GM will also use this normal changeover process to clear inventory of the outgoing Volt.

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The Hamtramck plant will stop making Volts for six weeks, which is almost double the normal retooling time, reports the Detroit Free Press.

GM currently has a 200-day supply of 2015 Volts nationwide, along with a 100-day supply in electric-car-friendly California.

Either way, that's much higher than the 60-day supply carmakers typically like to maintain.

First 2011 Chevrolet Volt built on production tooling at Detroit Hamtramck plant, March 31, 2010

First 2011 Chevrolet Volt built on production tooling at Detroit Hamtramck plant, March 31, 2010

Enlarge Photo
In the first quarter of 2015, GM sold just 1,874 Volts--down 48 percent from the same period last year.

Some of the downturn may be due to anticipation of the 2016 Volt, which debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January and goes on sale in the second half of this year.

MORE: Why We're Calling The 2016 Chevy Volt A Plug-In Hybrid

Among the improvements to the new model is an increased electric-only range of 50 miles--up from 38 miles in the current Volt.

Halting Volt production ahead of this new model is a "smart move," according to KBB.com analyst Akshay Anand, who believes consumers are holding out for the 2016 Volt.

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Line at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant

Enlarge Photo
During the sales doldrums of the past few months, the Nissan Leaf surpassed the Volt in total U.S. sales for the first time since both models went on sale in late 2010.

Whether the 2016 Volt can regain the sales crown depends on several factors--including how Chevy chooses to price it.

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While Volt production is shut down, the Hamtramck plant will continue operating.

The plant builds five GM models in total--including the current Volt's sibling, the slow-selling Cadillac ELR coupe.

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