Last week, General Motors announced it will halt production of its Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric vehicles at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant starting on March 19, resuming after April 23.
The reason, according to company spokesperson Chris Lee, “…is to keep proper inventory levels” of the Chevy Volt. In other words, Chevy’s letting demand catch up with supply. GM delivered slightly more than 7,600 Chevrolet Volts in 2011, short of the company’s goal of 10,000 units. The automaker had then planned to increase production to 45,000 starting this year. Normally, automakers in such situations discount slow-selling models until they’ve cleared the surplus. GM has decided to cut further production instead offer such a price cut.
Around 1,300 Detroit-Hamtramck staff will be temporarily laid off as the plant goes idle.
Automotive.com’s take: As you can imagine, automotive analysts are having a field day giving their take on why Chevrolet Volt sales are so slow. Some point to the Volt’s pricing, which makes sense. Others are trying to spin it into yet another failure by the Obama administration—we apparently missed then-senator Obama at the Volt prototype’s unveiling in January, 2007—just to score cheap political points.