Volt Birth Watch 120: Engine Plant Construction Halted
The new Flint, Michigan engine plant slated to build the ICE for the Chevrolet Volt has been put into deep freeze. AP (via Yahoo) has this latest tale of woe. Word is that GM has shut down construction because it doesn’t have the cash to pay for steel structural members. The Volt’s 1.4 liter four banger is to be shared with the Chevy Cruze, and both engines are planned for the brand new factory. Why is GM constructing a new building to manufacture this engine while at the same time closing factories by the dozen? Ah, the answer is hidden in Spokeswoman Sharon Basel’s statement: “The company already makes the 1.4-liter engine at a plant in Austria, she said, giving it another option for engines.” The last thing cash strapped GM needs is another engine factory while global automotive demand is imploding. If the Volt ever appears, look for its exhaust note to have a distinctly Austrian accent. California’s Governor Schwarzenegger will be so proud! Only four short months ago GM said it would spend $370 million building the new engine plant, and scored $132.5 million in Michigan tax incentives for its efforts. Hopefully Michigan didn’t put cash on the barrel. Bailout or no, the prospects for this factory going online are only slightly better than those for the revival of the GM Rotary Engine, likewise “put on hold” decades ago.