Just the other day, we heard that General Motors might extend its traditional two-week summer shutdown to three weeks for the Chevrolet Volt. But, after record Volt sales last month, we wonder how the calendar looks in Hamtramck now. We wonder because we are hearing reports that the current shutdown – originally scheduled to run for five weeks, from March 19 to April 23 – will be shortened by a week. GM originally decided on the hold to reduce supply that had grown too large because of soft demand.

Don LaForest, the chairman of the United Auto Workers bargaining committee at the Hamtramck plant where the Volt is made, told Talking Points Memo that GM is "adding a week of production back in." The Detroit News reports that GM President of North America Mark Reuss said the same thing Wednesday during the New York Auto Show. Reuss said, "We're doing it because we sold a lot."

Increasing sales numbers (GM sold 2,289 Volts in March – well over double February's 1,023-unit total) come at a time when some of the right-wing attacks on the plug-in hybrid appear to have calmed down. LaForest told TPM that his union workers have been confused about these criticisms. "I don't think Newt or Mitt have said a single negative thing about the Nissan Leaf," he said. "They're attacking our car to get at the President. But our car is going to change the way America does business. It's a breath of fresh air."


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      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ DarylMc Ok, true. I would be less dubious if the NBN was a Peter Costello initiative. But only because I would assume that he had analysed it thoroughly and ensured that the NBN was really value for money! He would also expect most of the cost recoverable from private capital, and the project competently overseen ! However, disregarding the politics, even at it's best, spending such a vast sum of public money, ( it's already costing almost double it's original estimate) on a project of very uncertain merit. seems foolish. No proper NBN feasibility studies were ever completed, due diligence was virtually non-existent. Alternate technologies ignored. Labour desperately needed great sounding projects, like NBN, to divert attention from the rest of their disastrous decisions, and failed projects. Labour initiated the NBN as a highly politicised vote catcher, rather than pursue the dull, but responsible consultative process. That's when the matter became politicised. When even the 'Age' and Mungo McCullum, have doubts about NBN, something's seriously amiss ! To shore up support, the government commissioned a very expensive report by Greenhill Caliburn. This report, (obtained only after a huge fight), embarrassingly concluded: ``Based on our preliminary review, as more fully described in our report, and subject to the assumptions contained in the Corporate Plan itself, believes that, taken as a whole, the Corporate Plan for the development of the NBN has a reasonable chance of success, in the fullness of time! ,'' Now, that could be easily mistaken for a script from 'Yes, Prime Minister!'. The Government Minister, in charge of the NBN, Sen, Conroy, argues that the growth of wireless connectivity, will not affect the NBN as "'wifi' is only a fad,! " In the unlikely event of wireless interfering with the future profitability of the NBN, the government could move to restrict the threat ! Testra is upgrading existing cable network trebling broadband speeds from 30 megabits per second to 100Mbps at a cost of $3.9 billion. Upgrading the hybrid fibre coaxial network, is necessary, despite contractual obligations to decommission the network once the $56+ billion NBN is completed in 2021. Four years ago was the time for all these considerations to be debated and studied, not fumbling along modifying as the NBN's being built. If the NBN, is so beneficial and ultimately profitable, why did the government not accept, the Hockey Plan to privatise the project, with the government a a valued customer? This would have saved the risk to taxpayer funds and delivered the same result! The opposition spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull says his plan would result in very fast broadband sooner and vastly cheaper than the government's plan. After the next election, he will have the opportunity to prove his claim !
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ Ford Future Ah, as usual, you are barking up the wrong tree! Most of the misbehaviour within the Murdoch group occurred while the Murdoch press was a supporter of the UK Labour (Leftist) Party government. The newly elected conservatives, (centre-right) have introduced more environmentally progressive action than the previous 13 years of Labour ! I am alarmed that you advocate the destruction of all opposition to the US left. One party states, are seldom happy and successful ! Democracy is healthiest when governments face vigorous opposition.
      marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ DarylMc " the rest of us in the world should probably keep out of American politics' Unfortunately, that's not possible as US policies affect do many US allies. In relation to the NBN, like veryone single project the current government has undertaken, the NBN, is a poorly concieved, and incompetently executed project. The NBN, has been critised by many as a poorly managed, uneconomic waste of taxpayer funds. If this were just the opinion of the governments political opponents, the criticsm could be ignored, but the criticism arises from a concensus of the world leading telecomunication experts. Just like the victorian desaliantion plant, the NBN will become a white elephant after consuming vast sums diverted from more urgent projects. Sorry Daryl, but even with the addition of a really subtantial politician like Senator Bob Carr, if a general election were held today, the government would be swept from office by a historic landslide. But western civilization is very flexible and has never been in better shape.
      Aric Matthew Beemer
      • 2 Years Ago
      People complain all the time about CVTs with little to no reason. Those same people should be complaining that this car is not an electric car it's a hybrid.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Aric Matthew Beemer
        It's a hybrid, but unlike most hybrids, you can drive for 30+ miles on electricity only.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          @Rotation, No, it's a new category of it's own, EREV. A hybrid is a primarily gasoline car using EV technology to gain either greater performance or greater fuel economy. GM's Voltec technology produces a primarily plug-in EV that will travel as much 40 miles before using gasoline. This qualifies the Volt/Ampera and other range extended EV's, to be considered EREV's. If an EV towed a portable generator, to recharge the battery, would you consider it to be a hybrid? I realise that it's not your intention, but who (apart from the most anorak clad purist ), cares about the minutia of terminology, except those who wish to snidely denigrate the GM Volt/Ampera as " just a hybrid " !
          GoodCheer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          "A hybrid is a primarily gasoline car using EV technology to gain either greater performance or greater fuel economy." Everything else you say is logically consistent with this premise, but this premise is incorrect. A hybrid is simply a vehicle that can derive mechanical power from more than one energy conversion device.
          JP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          It's a plug in hybrid actually, but still a hybrid, not an EV. Nothing wrong with hybrids, or plug in hybrids, but they are not EV's.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          @ Good cheer and JP To paraphrase the Bard of Avon, "what's in a name?, call it any by other name, a Volt will drive just as sweet!"
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Aric Matthew Beemer
        People do complain, all the time. We've even given them a name: purists. They understandably want the pure efficiency of an EV. A lot of them are angry because they see the Volt as a compromise ICE hybrid car. The truth is, the Volt is a transition vehicle, allowing someone used to driving an ICE to transition to driving a BEV. Since most people commute less than 40 miles in a day the Volt covers that commute but gives someone the option to drive for longer distances with the ICE charging the batteries. A lot of those purists are changing their minds and see the advantages GM's Voltec system is having on the market. It's hard to get mad about the Volt when there are still plenty of gas guzzling ICE cars still being made. Besides, the Volt is still teaching people the advantages of BEV driving. At least that's how I see it...
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal, a very accurate summation of the purist/realist dilemma. It would be great to buy a BEV with 200+ mile AER that could be 75% recharged in 30 minutes and cost less than $40,000. Unfortunately, these sorts of BEV's don't exist, and probably won't for at least 8 or 9 years. Hence, the bridge technology, the EREV Volt.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @GoodCheer I can see your point but I can see marketing-wise why GM chose to seperate the Volt from the Prius. The most obvious reason would be that to call the Volt just a hybrid is to be compared in price to the Prius and then lose ($25K vs. $40K). And all the comparisons happening even now would favor the Prius over the Volt. Seperation lets GM market their car to a different consumer. And I have to say I think they were and are right to do so. The Volt even works differently than a PIP though they are getting close. Sold to the right consumer the Volt is as I described it above - a transition car to a BEV. It does teach it's driver to appreciate the advantages of a BEV and push them to improve their battery usage daily. After driving a Volt for a number of years I'd bet that owner would have a great handle on whether a BEV would be appropriate as their next car.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @paulw I wanted an Aptera, which was an ultra efficient vehicle. So I can understand the desire for greater efficiency. Is the Volt as good as it can be? Definitely not. Is it good for what it is? The answer is a resounding, yes! I have to applaud GM for achieving what they did. Would I like it to be more efficient? Sure. But it's the first EREV out there and you only have to look at the Karma to understand it can't be easy because their numbers are even worse. The good thing about the Volt is there is room for improvement. Maybe GM will pull a Tesla and offer different battery packs: 40, 60, or 80 mile range. They certainly have room to improve the ICE range extender. And like any car, they can change the styling in a year or two. This is just the beginning for GM's Voltec tech.
          brotherkenny4
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Some purists are willing to spend unreasonable amounts of money to be an early adopters. Others would just feel stupid paying 40K for an EV or even worst a partial EV. My take on the Volt was that it was a way for GM to slow the adoption of pure EVs and allow them to continue to sell ICEs which they make a lot of money on. I believe Nissan will be the first company to get the 100 mile EV on the market at a price that makes economic sense. The I-miev is okay for strictly urban driving already, and of course some of this depends on what state incentives you can get. For people who live in states that have fairly large incentives, some of the EVs do already make economic sense. Of course there will always be a majority of the population who use their vehicles as ego builders. They are somehow more complete and happy people driving a vehicle they can be proud of. It's rather shallow and scary really, and sad too, if you think about it. People are so insecure and unintellegent that they can be made to feel better about themselves by owning a specific product. Yes, I guess that's pretty sad. They probably hate the way they look too and want to have surgery to change there appearance, and they probably need some kind of support group so they don't go off in a cloud of depression and kill themselves. Yes, pretty sad really.
          GoodCheer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          "(...) I can see marketing-wise why GM chose to seperate the Volt from the Prius. The most obvious reason would be that to call the Volt just a hybrid is to be compared in price to the Prius (...)" I agree completely. That's exactly why they did it. However, the principle that you're defending, that corporations can change the definitions of words because it suits their marketing and public perception goals, is the same one that brought us "Clean Coal" and "All Natural" GMO products. Again, I like the Volt, and I'm proud of America and of GM for having pulled the trigger on it, but to say that it is not a hybrid is just plain flat-out, unequivocally wrong.
          GoodCheer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          "We've even given them a name: purists. (...) A lot of them are angry because they see the Volt as a compromise ICE hybrid car." As one of the people who has complained a lot, I feel I should weigh in. My complaint is not with the engineering or drivetrain architecture of the Volt, but with the GM marketing department. From the first days of GM's hype, they insisted that the Volt was not a hybrid, but was an EV. Before about 2007, drivetrain engineers had very simple definitions of EV and hybrid. Those definitions were thrown out the window by GM because they did not want the Volt to be associated with the Prius hybrid. There are very good reasons for building and buying a plug-in hybrid, it is most likely the most cost-effective way to reduce your gasoline consumption. But there's no need to re-invent the language just to differentiate yourself from Toyota.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal Very true! However, it's amazing how few of those 'Purist' actually own an EV of any sort!
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          If the range extending engine provided better mileage - closer to a prius then the volt would be the best in class. But as designed it does allow most people to burn very little gas in their daily lives. However, I think the volts mileage display is intentionally misleading because it entirely disregards the electricity used.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      One more way the Volt could improve a bit by imitating its Euro cousin! I really do not like the off color skirt, but it looks great in black!
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      In other words, if you can help kill off the "Republican" party in the US, with campaign contributions to your relatives in America, to get Progressive Democrats elected, it would brighten your future to do so.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think you should take note, that the "Republican" party has also gone to war about Keynesian economics, the economy model they've used since Reagan, to stop an economic recovery under Obama. This is the new FU to America policy, we don't care about anything but winning, and you all can die. When Americans pointed out the successes of Keynesian policy in Europe and Canada, that's when the Koch Brothers started funding Austerity Cancer Parties in your countries as well. US Politics is now a World Cancer.
      DarylMc
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's not a criticism of republicans but rather oposition parties current tactics. I believe President Bush had a hand in getting the GM Volt projet started.
      DarylMc
      • 2 Years Ago
      Honestly I wish the person who added the down vote could string some words together to give some hintt of reason.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish GM would just stop press releases on plant closings for the Volt. Plant closings for other vehicles happen all the time without a big fuss. This just gives more ammunition to the naysayers. Don't get me started on the idiotic system of allocations and letting real orders get delayed. Ship them to where the sales are! There are many dealers clamoring for Volts but can't get them, while others have a surplus. Canadian sales will be excellent in those provinces that have the tax breaks, get the exports rolling.
      At_Liberty
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's not just the uptick in sales but high gas prices. Bob Lutz and the other Volt team leaders always said sales would be heavily influenced by that factor. Unfortunately, humans (not just Americans) are of a one track, easily forgetful, not-so-altruistic mind. I don't like that it's hurting the poorest, but I like that the price isn't so low that it's hurting the transition. I'm glad the Saudis can no longer glut the market like they did in the 80s. If they could, they would strangle the Volt in its crib !
      John Riecke
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it just weren't so damned ugly...
        DarylMc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Riecke
        I'm quite sure beauty is in the eye of the beholder but the figures from the Volt Stats web site with many owners getting hundreds or even thousands of mpg covers a few sins in my view.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Riecke
        Bag it and tag it. Maybe the looks will grow on you in time. I thought the 2nd gen prius looked weird until i saw it for a good 5 years. Now i can't stop thinking about owning one, lol
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Riecke
        When people call a car ugly that's because they really can't find anything wrong with it.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Riecke
        So, what do you think of the Leaf?
          DarylMc
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sasparilla Fizz
          If the Leaf is a bit ugly I would still cut it a bit more slack just for being a full BEV. I just recieved an email saying preorders are open right now to people who have subscribed to Nissan Leaf news in Australia. For delivery some time this year I expect. http://campaign.nissan.com.au/t/ViewEmail/r/ADE211106F04ED77/A36CE0087DB912274AB3169DA1FD82E9
        hodad66
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Riecke
        I have had a number of people compliment me on how nice my black Volt looks!
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @hodad66
          Good luck with that. My black car looks great right after a car wash. About 20 minutes later it looks dirty as hell. I'm never getting black again.
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