The long wait is over. At least, it soon will be.
At an event at General Motors’ Detroit Hamtramck facility which was streamed live on the Internet, everyone from government officials and GM board members down to the factory workers responsible for manufacturing the extended range electric car came together to celebrate the first production Volts leaving the assembly line.
But along with the sound-bytes, self-congratulatory back-patting and obligatory speeches was the news that Chevrolet planned to auction off Volt number 000002, the second ever production Volt to be made.
2011 Chevrolet Volt Proudction Launch
Driving the first ever production Volt, nick-named Volt Job 1 onto the stage, GM CEO Dan Akerson made allusions to his time in the Navy:
“Take it from a guy who just docked this baby. It’s one terrific automobile.”
Explaining that Job 1 would be heading to GM’s heritage center to take its place alongside other GM cars such as the EV1, Akerson took his time to thank the team behind the Volt.
“In so many ways it’s a special day for me. It’s the first time since the IPO we can say thank you to the people of GM... we’ve kept our promise and built a car like no other”
Job 2 is the first commercially available Volt to be made, and will be auctioned off, raising funds for Detroit’s public school system at www.bidonthevolt.com
2011 Chevrolet Volt
As an ultimate thank-you to the city of Detroit, 100% of the proceeds will be used in schools to fund math and science classes.
Less than 30 minutes after the auction was announced, the bid had soared to over $52,500 - well above the standard retail price of the 2010 Volt.
Joining the assembled crowd of Hamtramck workers and GM executives was Michigan Governor Granholm, who shared her pride with the workers, indicating that the start of Volt production signified a turning point in U.S. manufacturing.
“This is an historic day. You are bucking the trend... you have cracked the code to how to manufacture in the United States" she told them.
Also present was former CEO Bob Lutz, who was eager to celebrate the launch of the car he helped instigate development of.
We can’t wait to see how much Job 2 goes for, or how long it takes Chevrolet to start delivering its range-extended electric car to customers.
Chevrolet also beats Nissan, whose 2011 all-electric Leaf is due to ship to dealers shortly.