General Motors execs say production of the Chevrolet Volt will not hit a level capable of satisfying demand until the second-quarter of 2012. Despite dismal August sales of only 302 units, GM insists it's not a lack of demand that's holding the Volt back.

While The General continues to blame the Volt's lack of sales on limited availability – thanks in part to a recent four-week shutdown at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly – data compiled by Ward's Auto shows the supply of Volts now stands at 1,361 units, up from the 226 reported at the end of July. GM says that some 700 to 800 of the 1,361 plug-in hybrids are dealer demonstration units that, at least for now, can't be sold. If Ward's numbers are correct, that leaves almost a two-month supply of Volts sitting on dealer lots.

Later this year, the Volt's availability expands nationwide. Don Johnson, GM's U.S. sales chief, told Ward's Auto that since dealers must stock a demo Volt before receiving salable units, retail sales of the plug-in sedan won't increase significantly anytime soon. During a conference call on Friday, Johnson added, "It's going to take us a month or two to really fill up the retail inventory for those dealers." It looks like our prediction that the Nissan Leaf will continue its electrifying reign over the Volt for the next couple of months will hold true.


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