GM is ready to reduce output of the Volt plug-in hybrid. Wait, that’s putting it a bit harshly. GM is ready to “match supply and demand,” as GM vice chairman Steve Girsky told Reuters yesterday. GM wants to monitor sales for a few more months until the matching begins.
“I think it will be May or June before we really know if this thing has legs,” Girsky told Reuters. “We are prepared for it if it does.”
Last year, GM sold about 8,000 Volts, a little more than half of its annual target. This time, Girsky wisely excused himself from making forecasts.
As Reuters put it, “slow sales of the Volt would hardly make a dent in GM’s overall U.S. sales, which rose 13 percent to 2.5 million last year.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, GM now is “targeting 45,000 U.S. Volt sales in 2012. It also plans to export 15,000 of the Detroit-built cars to Europe.” Also according to the WSJ, the recent battery woes did not affect sales:
“General Motors Co. sold 1,529 battery-powered Chevrolet Volt cars last month, a 34% increase from November, amid a U.S. investigation into whether the car’s battery poses a fire risk.
More than one-third of those sales were to corporate fleets; a larger proportion than in previous months when about 10% of Volts were bought by corporate and other fleet customers.“
This tidbit had attracted accusations (see above) by people who claimed that GM is goosing the numbers with fleet sales. Not true, the WSJ says, the Volt’s fleet sales were so high because for the first time there are enough Volts to supply the fleets, and they are paying the same as a regular car buyers.