GM to kill Chevy Volt production in 2019 (Updated)


2019 Chevrolet Volt

2019 Chevrolet Volt

General Motors confirmed Monday morning that it plans to cease production of the Chevrolet Volt in March, as part of an effort to streamline production and pivot its business more toward zero-emissions and personal-mobility efforts. 

The Volt was the first production plug-in car sold in the U.S. when it went on sale in 2010, but has struggled with slow sales and high incentives recently as consumers have been inspired by pure electric models such as the Chevy Bolt EV and cars from Tesla.

Early next year, the Volt and Bolt EV are expected to face reduced federal tax credits as the automaker will reach its limit of 200,000 of the full $7,500 credits. Most of those have gone to buyers of the Volt, and the lack of credits is expected to have a negative effect on sales.

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The Volt regularly makes Green Car Reports' list of best deals on plug-in, electric, and hybrid cars, provided by our partners at CarsDirect, with discounts up to $2,500, and 0-percent financing offers. 

News of its demise was first reported by Reuters, which cited a report by Unifor, the union that represents Canadian auto workers as well as others familiar with the plan. The report noted that the factory that builds the Volt, GM's oldest manufacturing plant at Detroit-Hamtramck, will cease production and that no new models are scheduled for the factory.

GM clarified in a statement that the assembly plants "that will be unallocated in 2019" include Hamtramck plus two massive plants—in Oshawa, Ontario, and Warren, Ohio (Lordstown).

The Volt has the longest electric range of any plug-in hybrid electric car sold in the U.S., EPA rated at 53 miles all-electric. 

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GM began production of the second-generation Volt in 2015, and the car was due for an update for 2020. A crossover/SUV based on the Volt's underpinnings had been expected to arrive by 2020, so it's unclear how it might affect that timeline or whether that vehicle remains on the product map. 

The company also sold versions of the Volt in China, as the Buick Velite, and Europe as the Opel Ampera. The company sold its Opel operations to the French PSA Group (which makes Peugeot and Citroën brands) in 2017. It also announced it would end production of the plug-in hybrid version of the Cadillac CT6 outside China in March.

At the Beijing auto show in April, GM showed a crossover version of the Volt, called the Buick Velite 6, that it plans to sell in China. There is no word on whether that car may come to the U.S.

READ THIS: Buick Velite 6 for China previews new GM approach to electric cars

Based on other models slated to end production in GM's announcement, the company is targeting conventional sedans, which have been selling slowly in recent years. Ford announced in April that it would end all sedan production for 2019.

GM also announced that it would close its Baltimore, Maryland, factory that produces electric motors and other components for rear-wheel-drive electric cars.

UPDATED to include a more specific timeline when Volt production is scheduled to cease.

 
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