General Motors staked much of its sagging reputation on the Chevrolet Volt when began developing the plug-in range-extending hybrid a decade ago amid overall cratering sales, a vehicle portfolio lopsided toward gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs, and a balance sheet bleeding red ink. And it worked, too: The Volt racked up a number of awards, positive reviews and strong loyalty from owners, though it never exactly caught fire with buyers.
Now, reports suggest that GM may be ready to pull the plug on the Volt, viewing it as outdated technology as it makes preparations to introduce 20 new electric and fuel-cell vehicles by 2023. A report by AutoForecast Solutions, via GM Authority, says the Volt will exit production in 2022 at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant to make room for battery-electric cars and crossovers.
It's not the first time rumors have swirled around the Volt, which first hit the market in December 2010. Reuters reported in July that GM was considering killing off six slow-selling models by 2020, including the Volt, the Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Impala and Cadillac CT6, all of which are built at Detroit-Hamtramck. That report suggested the Volt could be replaced in 2022 with a new hybrid crossover.
Volt sales jumped 60 percent last year after the hatchback sedan was redesigned for 2016, but sales were down 12 percent through November of this year, according to figures compiled by GM Authority. It's now being outsold by the Chevy Bolt, a batter-electric compact car introduced a year ago.