• Jul 30, 2010

President Obama toured the General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck facility where the automaker will build (can we say "is building" yet?) the Chevrolet Volt today, and as any good PR person will surely agree, you can't let an opportunity like that go by without making an announcement of some sort. So, GM has something to say and it's big news, too: GM will increase Volt production capacity by 50 percent in 2012.

Details are as follows: Instead of making 30,000 Volts in the U.S. in 2012, GM will now make 45,000. These numbers are lower than production numbers we heard rumors of in years past, but they're good news for fans of plug-in vehicles. Is the increase a response to positive reaction to the Volt's $33,500 after-tax-rebate price tag? Maybe, GM said in a statement that, "In the past few weeks, more than 25,000 people have joined the Chevrolet Volt enthusiast list."

The news is good for the President, too, since the White House is pushing The American Auto Industry: A Comeback Story message this week. Part of that is an interactive version of the White House map showing places where the government has supported automakers, which you can find here.

[Sources: General Motors, WhiteHouse.gov]
Show full PR text

Chevrolet to Increase Volt Production Capacity by 50 Percent
President Tours Detroit-Hamtramck Plant, Home of the Chevrolet Volt


DETROIT, Mich. – General Motors today said that thanks to strong public interest in the Chevrolet Volt, the 340-mile extended range electric vehicle, it will increase U.S. production capacity of the groundbreaking new car by 50 percent, from 30,000 units to 45,000 units, in 2012.

The announcement came as U.S. President Barack Obama toured the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, where the Volt is being produced now for sale later this year.

"The Chevrolet Volt provides drivers with the latest technology, outstanding innovation, and something no other electric vehicle can provide – peace of mind," said Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., GM Chairman and CEO. "We are very proud to host the President of the United States at this plant, where the future of the American automobile industry is being built today by the men and women of General Motors."

The expanded U.S. production capacity is the latest in a series of positive developments for the Chevrolet Volt. This week, participating Chevrolet dealers in launch markets began taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, following the release of retail and lease pricing. The brand also recently announced unprecedented battery and vehicle limited warranties to bring value and peace of mind to Volt customers. And the number of U.S. launch markets for the vehicle recently was raised from three to seven. In the past few weeks, more than 25,000 people have joined the Chevrolet Volt enthusiast list.

The Volt offers a total driving range of about 340 miles and is powered by electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the vehicle drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered, engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank.

The Detroit-Hamtramck plant received $336 million in new investment to prepare for production of the Volt, part of more than $700 million GM has invested in eight Michigan facilities to support Volt production since 2008. This includes a 33,000 square-foot battery systems lab in Warren; a battery assembly facility in Brownstown Township; and supporting engine and stamping operations in Grand Blanc, Bay City, and three plants in Flint.

Besides direct GM jobs, the Volt has helped spur additional supplier employment and investment. Earlier this month, battery cell supplier LG Chem/Compact Power Inc. broke ground on a $300 million, 650,000 square-foot plant in Holland, Mich., to support Volt production, creating 400 jobs. In addition, the Volt helped start an electrification trend. Since its debut in January 2007, other automakers have announced 30 plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles.

About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 205,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      it's one thing to be an enthusiast, GM.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting that the government doesn't show the battery plant or plant expansion at Nissan. I guess they've spent so much they can't keep up with a measly few hundred million...
      • 4 Years Ago
      What happened to the GM plant in Spring Hill, Tn. I guess GM closed it too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Way to go GM!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      So you could say that in 2012, GM will be increasing Voltage?

      I know, sorry, bad joke.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The more you make the cheaper they get! I actually like the Volt! It looks like a decent car.. Like the design better than many other Chevy's on the market today. When It comes to bail out Gov motors.. Emm Think of all the cash GM has given US in form of tax from profit and car taxes + employers pay from its founding until now, its more cash in for US than out... Not even to mention GM's important position in China for US economy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A comeback story? With this turdmobile? What an absolute crock of crap!
      • 4 Years Ago
      How could there possibly be a positive reaction to the announcement of a car the size and performance most similar to the Cobalt being priced at $33,500?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm sure a Cobalt handily outperforms it.

        Poor performance hasn't put a damper on Prius sales.

        Not everyone buys a car for 0-62 figures.
        • 4 Years Ago

        You are absolutely correct.
        I dont understand why people make size related comments on an automobile blog. I would think that most of the frequenters here would know a little bit about cars.

        Why does a 5-Series, E-Class, A6, XF etc sell for 2x the price of an Accord/Camry while being inferior in size, reliability?

        If the Volt is suitably upmarket in interior furnishing, then it will be very attractive to a lot of drivers who simply want a reliable, efficient and luxurious commuter.

        The Volt at 41,000 or 34,000 as you calculate is very well equipped. Even the base version has navigation remember.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well that depends on the interior appointments and fit+finish.

        Does the Volt have the interior of a 35k car (lexus ES, Buick lacrosse, Taurus SHO, etc.)? Because if so, then all thats happening is taking a hit on horsepower for the electric powertrain, which is a great tradeoff for those who don't care about tearing up the canyons (e.g. most buyers of cars like the ES).

        • 4 Years Ago
        Because they have declared this car to be the future, without actually providing the information on how much this will benefit anyone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All you nay sayers can blabber all you want...

      But at least the Volt isn't manufactured in a closed door factory in Japan...
      • 4 Years Ago
      You gotta admire Government Motors Company - without any hint of actual sales data, they increase production.

      Guess there will be huge rebates after all to move these clunkers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1 for being funny and true
        • 4 Years Ago
        Increase production by 50%?
        Does that mean they're expecting more bailouts or more taxpayer funded incentives to move this car?
        • 4 Years Ago
        "without any hint of actual sales data, they increase production."

        Well, they haven't built any yet, so I don't know where you expect them to get any sales data. But they do have a waiting list and a huge fan base which you chose to ignore. That would be a "hint" in my book. If the facts don't fit, ignore them, I guess, right ?

        If this were Toyota, you'd be shouting from the rooftops about how responsive to pent up demand they are and say something about The Toyota Way.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I am looking forward to the MPV5. I don't think that I agree with tax credits though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      There is soooo much confusion about this car and how it differs from regular hybrids or electric cars.

      GM must get out there with some serious educational ads, IMO. How about minute long "sound bites" about features of this car that the other don't have ?

      Areas of confusion:
      (1) the ICU doen't drive the wheels
      (2) the ICU is a range extender
      (3) the car is not an electric toy but a proper sized car
      (4) etc etc
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