GM: Volt Second Shift Delayed, 60k Global Units Still Planned For 2012

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Chevrolet Volt may be beating cars like the Jaguar XF and the Lincoln MKT in the sales race, but GM won’t come close to building 120,000 of the plug-ins next year as the Department of Energy was expecting. Today GM confirmed to Automotive News [sub] that it will make 60,000 Volts next year… and it will do so while remaining on a single shift. GM had previously planned to add a second shift at the Det-Ham plant late this fall, but is putting that off until midway through next year, when production of the ’13 Malibu begins there. Until then, The General is adding 300 workers to the 10-hour, four-days-per-week single shift, a move the company says

will significantly reduce costs, and has no impact on the plant’s ability to make 60,000 Volts and Amperas (the European version of the Volt) in 2012.

Think 60,000 units is still more Volt than America will buy? Well, you’re right so far, but 15,000 of those will be exported to Europe, so GM only has to sell 45,000 US-market Volts next year. Although considering the Volt won’t crack 10,000 units this year, that’s still some strong projected growth. And as usual, the union local President sums up the situation with more candor than any executive would:

The sooner the better, but I guess demand will dictate when that happens. Hopefully we’ll get a third shift someday, too.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
28 of 68 comments
  • Herm Herm on Oct 08, 2011

    What is the accepted method to determine if a car is a failure? Cash on the hood levels?, days at the dealership? or how long it takes to actually get one?.. we should settle the answer now so we can use it in a few months to know for sure if the Volt has failed or not.. its not time yet since you cant pick one up today (for most people) at the dealership at MSRP

    • See 18 previous
    • Pch101 Pch101 on Oct 09, 2011
      @CamaroKid I disagree with you on when it’s OK to call this a failure. When the $40K price, 4 seats and 37mpg were revealed, that looked like a good time to me. Don't be a reverse fanboy. Rather than waiting for facts and assessing them, you've instead started with a theory and are selectively choosing and ignoring facts in order to match your theory. The car is new. Production, inventories and distribution have all been minimal. In a year, you'll know soon enough whether or not it's a bust. Personally, I have low expectations (and I suspect that GM does, too), but it's a bit soon to judge.
  • Lockdown Lockdown on Oct 08, 2011

    Does anyone know how the Congressional super committee installing the budget cuts views the Volts $7500 tax rebate? By Nov 2 this group of 13 could reshape the government spending overnight, yet nothing is being reported on how the coming cuts are being decided or how much each industry’s lobby is willing to pay to play. I would say the Volt’s rebate is fair game for getting killed as dropping this tax rebate affects the smallest number of voters, people actually buying the volt, and the big boys (Defense, Medicare, and Social Security) have their lobbies out in full force pointing at other more voter friendly cuts. There is the government motor stigma and the Tea Party could jump on the $7500 rebate as bad government. Should GM know they are losing the war to keep this rebate, they sure as hell will not add a second shift and would be smart to switch the plant to the Malibu ASAP as without the rebate the volt is fried.

  • Buickman Buickman on Oct 09, 2011

    the Volt is a disaster, GM management is beyond pitiful, and the banks are still in control. buy Ford stock if you feel the need to be in the auto sector.

  • Zackman Zackman on Oct 10, 2011

    I wish I had something to add here, but I just have this: FASCINATING! I, and probably many others truly enjoy these debates/exchanges, as those of us on the outside that have little or no auto industry experience learn much and gain insight into the various companies. I hope you (Doctor Olds and Buickman) continue to keep us informed. Thank you!

    • See 2 previous
    • Buickman Buickman on Oct 10, 2011

      @doctor olds knowledge is one thing, divining wisdom from it another. the bottom line is exactly how are we going to sell more cars? hmmmm....just a minute....wait...hold on... okay, I know how. leadership is defining the goal, laying out the strategy, implementing the plans and finally, achievement. it's not who sits in which office, or even who gets the credit. it's results baby! RIP Al.