Chevy To Add Second Shift Of Volt Production… Eventually

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chevy to add second shift of volt production eventually

The Freep reports

General Motors plans to add a second shift worth as many as 1,000 jobs to its Detroit-Hamtramck plant late this year, as the automaker prepares to ramp up production of its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car.

Current plans have second-shift workers arriving for training late this year and starting production in earnest in early 2012,

Now, it makes sense that any “more assembly jobs are coming” story would play big in Detroit, but does this mean GM has its suppliers lined up for a second shift of Volt production? Can the market support the increased volumes GM has been talking about (25k instead of 10k this year, 60k+ instead of the planned 45k next year)? As it turns out, those questions haven’t actually been answered yet…

The Freep’s report quoted Hamtramck plant manager Teri Quigley, but apparently the brass at the RenCen aren’t ready to commit to the timetable she gave. In a statement to WWJ-CBS Detroit, GM clarified

Detroit Hamtramck has started some of the pre-work related to adding an additional shift at the plant. Volt volumes remain unchanged (10,000 this year, 45,000 next), but the plant wants to be in a position to bring on a shift as quickly as possible when we are asked to increase production to meet market demand.

At this point in time, it is too early to tell how many employees would be required or when an additional shift will start — we are just doing some pre-planning to ensure we can respond quickly to market conditions.

GM will phase out DTS and Lucerne production at Hamtramck later this year, and will likely tool up for production of the updated Malibu this summer. Meanwhile, plant space and people are the two least-significant factors constraining production of the Volt, as Detroit-Hamtramck is one of GM’s biggest plants, and the firm has some 2,500 assembly workers in layoff. Suppliers, and consumer demand are the big questions, and for all their bluster about redlining Volt production GM’s brass hopefully knows it’s easier to slowly ease up production than to overinvest and have to whipsaw back.

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  • Birddog Birddog on Mar 10, 2011

    Haven't heard this in a long time. Can you hear it too? It's the sound of one hand clapping.

  • SkiD666 SkiD666 on Mar 10, 2011

    Considering we only know two numbers: Deliveries to Date Production to Date I think a lot of speculation is going on in these early months without knowing: maximum output per day from factory (ie. capacity) number of cars sent to dealers for demo units how will the car sell when available in all markets number of cars put into fleets (like GE) number of cars that dealers are trying to get 'extra' markup on number of cars that have been preordered for buyers etc. With any new car, I don't think the first 6-12 months of production/sales can tell you very much about future sales performance. Is it capacity constrained, is it a flash in the pan, etc. The one thing that I think everyone here could agree on is that the lower the price of the Volt becomes the more sales they will get.