The 2011 Chevrolet Volt keeps making appearances in automotive industry news. This is mostly due to the expected launch later this fall, but it probably didn't hurt that President Obama was touring the Hamtramck, Mich., plant earlier today. During his tour the L.A. Times reports that GM said it "planned to increase Volt production from 30,000 units to 45,000 in 2012. Now this may seem a little surprising since the vehicle hasn't even launched yet, but on the other hand we have know for some time that all early production models are spoken for. In fact, both Leno and Letterman have one reserved.

President Obama inspects the 2011 Chevrolet Volt

President Obama inspects the 2011 Chevrolet Volt

The real question is, does the increase in production mean that the Volt will be adopted by the average consumer or are we seeing a lot of early adoption that will peter off in later in the sales cycle? This is a hard question to answer today, but I do have some speculation on the matter. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has been hyped for quite some time now. There have been some false claims, miss-understandings and development changes to make the car more livable in real life. Recently, we reported on the entry -level price—a price that came at the very top of what industry experts believed would be tolerable by consumers. We can see why at $41K before government tax credits, but even with a tax credit the car is still above $32K. This price combined with very new technology from an American car company that recently had financial problems may make this a harder sell to the mass consumer.

The 50% raise in production for 2012 may not cause any major issues, but with the anticipated roll out of the Nissan Leaf and other Plug-in hybrids, oh say maybe the new Toyota Prius, it seems like the Volt team might be counting their chickens before they hatch. Hopefully, we will find out soon whether there is an increase in people putting in orders for the Volt—what would be even better is demographic information so we could see if it is the average Joe or early adopters buying the Volt.

Bottom line—Chevrolet had a winner with the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and look to have another one in the pipeline with the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Could this be the proof in the oil of what has been called the "New GM?" Stay tuned right here to for the latest news on GM and the rest of automotive industry.

[Source: L.A. Times]