This is not the first time General Motors has idled Chevrolet Volt production (see here and here) but it is perhaps the most unexpected. According to Automotive News, the Volt's Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be shut down for four weeks – from September 17 until October 15 – starting next month. This will affect about 1,500 workers.

With this news, it seems that GM must be sitting on more Volt inventory than we suspected. Earlier this year, the plant was shut down because GM had a 150-day supply of Volts, but sales have been good this summer. Still, AN says, as of August 1, GM had an 84-day supply. Another clue that there are more Volts around than people want, some Volt lease deals have surfaced recently that are considered underpriced. A spokesman told AN that, "We don't comment on production schedules. We continue to match supply and demand."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      General Motors Co. said it plans to suspend production of its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt for 26 days as part of a move to pare excess inventory. Production of the Volt at its Hamtramck, Mich., plant is set to stop Sept. 17 and resume on Oct. 12, a GM spokeswoman confirmed. It is the second time this year output has been idled due to soft demand for the electric vehicle. GM will use the downtime to prep the assembly line for building the 2014 Chevrolet Impala starting early next year, the spokeswoman said. The plant already produces a small number of the Chevrolet Malibu sedans and the European version of the Volt, known as the Opel Ampera. What would have happened if GM had been doing well, if the UK had sold 10,000 Volts in the UK rather than 31 in the last 6 months, would the Impala plant been put on hold forever?
      • 3 Years Ago
      In insideevs.com, the same news report is claiming that the shut down is related to the preparations of Impala production (and something about a strike threat in a Canadian plant).
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats an absolutely awesome looking pick-up truck at the bottom of the Autoblog post, why can't Chevy sell a RHD E-REV version of that in the UK, l would be in the local Chevy UK dealers like a shot, and buy one today instantly. Why do we get all the FWD Korean made junk from Chevy in the UK, and nothing else? Why can't we have just one high profit yielding quality Chevy RHD RWD car preferably a diesel that returns 80 MPG giving it superb residual values, and a awesome small light duty E-REV pick-up like the one above to start generating huge profits rather than huge GM $16 billion FWD losses in Europe?
      Turbo Froggy
      • 3 Years Ago
      With 5,423 Volts nationwide on Cars.com and 370,015 Silverado pickups, it seems like choosing to stop production of the Volt is the wrong choice here. Especially with gas prices rising quickly. GM, stop making so many freakin Silverado pickups and build more Volts!
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      ( insert controversy and arguing here )
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is no biggie. The plant was built to handle something like 60k cars a year. As a result, when they are on, they are producing about 300 a day, for 4 day shifts. This is going to be a normal and natural experience for Volt production until numbers start exceeding 3k a month. That could be a while. In the meantime, the sales numbers continue to go up, month to month, and its already been rumored that August will be a record month. The haters are gonna hate, but thankfully, they don't run GM, and all the negative press from idiots like Matt Drudge and Seton Motley isnt going to matter. The sales trend will. http://voltowner.blogspot.com
      me
      • 3 Years Ago
      update from the Detriot Free Press .. It seems due to the Hurricane in the Gulf oil/gas prices will jump about 10-20 cent starting next week, Chevy is reconsidering it's move to shut down the Volt plant. Also due to a huge fire in South America largest oil/gas refinery the price will stay up for a while.
      VFan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Considering the Volt is the best vehicle I've ever owned this news bums me out. This is my first Chevy and the Volt displays amazing engineering and quality. For me I couldn't justify the Volt without these latest leasing deals that are now available. Now it's easy to save more than you spend. I wonder if the public is aware of how good the lease deals are right now?
      Rick
      • 3 Years Ago
      Should have been released as a RWD Caddy E-REV sold at the same price to folk in the right income bracket, then the plant would have been taking on another 1500 new hires, and they would be filling their boots with unlimited overtime rather than sitting at home picking their nose doing nothing, thats hapless GM for you. Its a shame l would have brought one had it been a RWD Caddy Volt. When the massive "so called" cost reduction benefit came with time, and only when the technology became cheaper it only then should have been released as a FWD Chevy in the right income bracket. Still l love the E-REV technology, but Chevy UK is to much linked with a bad vibe from selling only FWD Korean junk with poor reliability & build quality in the UK. Chevy Volt made in the USA is very hard to resist because of technology and great Chevy badge on the grille, but l just won't buy anything new thats FWD, not even if l lived a million years. Folk in Europe just look at the Chevy Volt E-REV technology think its awesome, then just go out and buy a quality RWD BMW 3 Series/5 Series Efficient Dynamics Diesel with fantastic residual values that returns up to 80/72 MPG, and walk out the Beamer showroom with $7,500+ in their back pocket from savings from not buying an awesome US made Volt thats linked to a all Korean made FWD Chevy junk status rubbish brand we have in the UK,
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      The dealers have too much power in this relationship. It used to be that GM would make cars as fast as possible, and the dealers had to sell them for whatever price they could get. It sucked for resale value, but the prices were low. Then the Japanese business model came out and let used cars be worth something, so more people switched to buying Accords and Corollas since they only produced what they could sell. And now here we are with $30,000+ cars.
      SVX pearlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      So does Opel have 10k preorders to fill, or not?
        Rick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        Well the Chevy Volt gold rush is out the way in the UK now all its pre-orders are out the way sales for the first 6 months is 31 in the UK so far this year, so with 5 Chevy Volt sales a month maybe they have room for Vauxhall Amperes that is already being sold here that is selling much better in GM & Fords biggest market in Europe the UK. It seem folk are more into small retro cars than green cars in the UK, even Chinese car brands that 99.9% of most Brits have ever heard of are doing better at the moment. First 6 months UK car sales 2012 1. Mini 18,545 2. Fiat 500 17,495 3. Nissan Leaf 343 4. Ssang Yong Korando WHO the hell are they? Pick-up truck 295 5. Vauxhall Ampere 230 6. Toyota Prius V 92 7. Mitsubishi I-Meiv 86 8. Pug Ion 36 9. Chevy Volt 31 10. Vauxhall VXR8 (More Holden crap no one wants despite its the only GM car that gets its own website) 1 sale. Must be a hidden message, E-REVS need to be a bit more retro for the UK market, or use a well known Brand name like Ssang Yong, or maybe come with a Holden V8 (nobody can afford to fill-up or and insure in the UK) rebrand it as a Vauxhall VXR8 with its own personnel website for just one person to look at, GM are totally hapless what next a v8 in an Aveo which will have 1 sale to match? No thats all rubbish l have just posted, but sadly its REAL. GM need to wake up stop wasting money on cars with low sales that are to expensive to buy in austere hit Europe, lets have a nice high yeild profit makers like a nice 80 MPG RWD car like BMW produce, at Chevy/Vauxhall prices, and maybe a small awesome RWD E-REV based pick-up truck, van & SUV like the 120 MPG/40 mile Via Motors E-REVs then GM will start make $16 billions in profits rather than the $16 billions in losses GM of Europe have lost in the last decade wiping all the good big massive profits GM USA with the Silverado and GM China have made with boxy shaped Wuling Sunshine million best seller people carriers.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is definetly not good news. Shutting down a factory is a money loosing proposition, as many fixed costs are still in place. This inefficiency must be passed on in terms of a higher price for future Volts. The Volt price needs to go down to get production up. I don't understand why marketing goes with a money loosing lease, but won't reduce the purchase price. What bothers me most is that the lease is based on a very high resale value of the used Volt. Do they know something that I don't? Maybe they have been assured by GM that the price will never go down and production will be limited to assure the used Volts will be in demand. If GM were to reduce the price of future Volts, the used price would have to fall too.
        Smith Jim
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        "What bothers me most is that the lease is based on a very high resale value of the used Volt. Do they know something that I don't?" I have some thoughts on why the Volt is expected to have a high resale value. According to data GM obtained through OnStar for every Volt on the road the average Volt operates in EV mode for 2/3 of miles driven and 1/3 in charge sustaining mode. That means the ICE should last three times longer than a conventional ICE powered car. The well-designed battery cooling system and careful management of the state of charge will result in a long-lasting battery pack. I've worked as a quality engineer in the automotive industry. Minimizing the cost of covering warranty expenses is taken very seriously. Generous warranties are only offered when there is a high degree of confidence in reliability and longevity.
        Julius
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        Better than the old-GM of overproducing and fire-sale-ing those cars - and trashing the perceived value of the cars sold. It's part of what got GM into trouble in the first place. Personally, I'd hope they use the time to add some additional tweaks to the '13 models (and perhaps push up ELR production?).
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