"Halting Chevrolet Volt production in anticipation of the all-new 2016 model year is a smart move for GM," Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, said in a statement. "[The move] allows for less inventory and incentives on the outgoing model. Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle sales have been declining for some time now, with gas prices well below the summer prices of 2014."
Volt production will cease in the weeks before the traditional two-week auto plant shutdown over the July 4 holiday. A high inventory of Volts is a factor in the production cuts, but not the only one, Malcho said. The plant construction, engineering changes and pre-production plans for the new Volt and CT6 all were part of the decision, she said.
Nationwide, there is about a 200-day supply of Volts on dealer lots (roughly 100 days in California, the car's biggest market), according to the Detroit Free Press, which says there will be a six-week retooling period (twice as long as normal, but other sources say the shutdown will be four weeks long) at GM's Hamtramck plant this summer to get ready for the second-gen model. The 2016 Volt will get an increase in all-electric range to 50 miles and will then get 41 miles per gallon when the battery runs out. It also has a fifth seat that straddles the battery tunnel and a larger li-ion battery.
The AP contributed to this report.