General Motors announced today that it will be halting production of the Chevrolet Volt for three weeks in July. The plug-in hybrid hatchback has already seen its production stalled once this year as it’s currently on hold until April 23. The latest production delay isn’t entirely unexpected though, as many automakers close facility doors for a few weeks during the summer months. Chevy has traditionally frozen the Volt’s production at its Detroit-Hamtramck facility every year for two weeks in July with this making it the longest delay the hybrid has seen in summer months.
“This is (a) normal part of business as managing to market demand,” said General Motors spokeswoman Michelle Malcho in an e-mail to the Detroit Free Press. The current production freeze comes on the heels of dealerships that are currently overstocked with the extended-range hybrid vehicle.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Volt. While only moving 1,023 units in February Chevrolet has just announced the Volt was the automaker’s biggest sales percentage increase in March. In total 2,289 Volts found new homes last month, a 276.5 percent increase over the same month last year. March was very friendly to the Volt as it was the hybrid’s best sales month ever recorded.
The 2012 Chevrolet Volt has a 35-mile range when fully-charged and relies on a gasoline-powered generator once the battery is depleted. Since its introduction into the market last year, the Volt has struggled to live up to its projected sales figures. The lack of public charging stations and the hefty price tag that comes along with installing a home charger have scared off many potential customers.
Charging the vehicle itself has also proven to be tough as well, as it requires around 10 hours to charge on a 120-volt set-up and four hours when plugged in to a 240-volt outlet. The accusations and investigations into a potential battery fire after the Volt has been involved in an accident haven’t helped either. In spite of this, if recent sales figures are any indication of where the Volt is heading, the future may be bright for Chevy’s plug-in hybrid.
Source: Detroit Free Press