Up until now, General Motors has remained deliberately vague in public about the scheduled Job 1 date for Chevrolet Volt production. Given the complexity and new technology involved in the program, the automaker's reluctance is understandable. After all when you don't know what the future holds or what problems will crop up, you don't want to put a misleading date out there, years in advance.
Internal schedules, on the other hand, are something else altogether. Every program needs to have deadlines so that people know how much time and resources to allot for a given task. Those internal gantt charts have undoubtedly had the magic Volt Job 1 date on them for several years. Among the stakeholders that need to when a vehicle will launch are the dealers that have to schedule orders for inventory. Around about this time of year, automakers usually brief dealers on when the current model year vehicles will end production and new ones will start.
With less than ten months to go, GM has set November 1, 2010 as the Chevrolet Volt Job 1 date on the production start list for dealers. By September, dealerships will need to start giving GM an indication of how many Volts they want to order so that the head office can determine allocations. Interestingly, the GM chart indicates that dealers won't know their allocations until two weeks after production starts, and won't be able to start placing orders until then. Typically, those last two items happen about two months before production starts. The timing for the Volt production kickoff is still far enough out that those dates may yet change in the months to come.
A final item of interest is that the Cruze, which was originally slated to launch in April and subsequently pushed back to September, is listed as TBD.