GM Says Chevrolet Volt Production To Resume A Week Early
April 5th, 2012 5:37 PM Share
GM is planning on resuming Chevrolet Volt production a week early, shortening the planned five week shutdown to four weeks. The shutdown began March 19th, but GM began notifying workers on Wednesday.
The Volt now has a 61 day supply, with levels as high as 154 days at the end of February. GM is also looking to boost sales by 30 percent, while European sales of both the Volt and the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera get underway. The Volt will now qualify for the HOV lane in California, considered a major draw for motorists using the state’s congested freeways. GM is targeting 3,000 or more sales in the coming months in the United States
Published April 5th, 2012 5:40 PM
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Ampera sold over 400 units this past month in the Netherlands. Tiny market, one of the first months (if not the first) of availability, and they're selling 1/5 of what is being sold in the US. European sales of this vehicle may indeed outpace American sales once inventory is properly stocked on both sides of the pond.
"The Volt now has a 61 day supply," Which explains the early resumption of production. As long as I've been around and listening to sales reports on Detroit radio, a two month supply, 60 days, is considered "normal". It means that there are enough cars in the pipeline to meet demand but not so many that inventory is a problem. Who knows what gas prices will be, but as long as gas is above $3.50/gal I can see Chevy selling 35,000-45,000 Volts a year. Though not a 1964 1/2 Mustang level success, that would also not be an Edsel level failure. First year sales for the Edsel were 1/3 of expectations. GM sold about 7,500 Volts in 2011, and hoped to sell 10,000.
Doctor Olds: We (or at least I) reject all forms of government intervention in the economy, period. There should be no subsidies and no taxes and no regulations. PERIOD. All government property should be auctioned off on eBay or equivalent. There should be no CAFE, no Solyndra, no nothing. That said, I am the proud owner of a Chevrolet Volt for the simple reason that it is a GREAT car. It competes with the finest, most silent, smooth and vibration-free cars on the market, and yes my other car is a Rolls Royce. GM made a big mistake launching the Volt as a Chevrolet instead of a Cadillac. The Volt is not some species of electrified Cruze. It is a premium performance car that happens to be the best the market has to offer today.
As gas prices shot up to over $1.38 a liter this week (that's $5.52 a U.S. gallon, BTW), it could be that GM is in the right place at the right time. Their inventory kinks worked out, first PR torpedo behind them, the European version well underway, GM might benefit if gas prices soar much higher. Politics and ideology aside, I will always admire GM for its sheer tenacity. They could have been 'me-too' like Ford and the rest, merely licensing Toyota's technology, or they could have gone in a different direction, which like all new directions in business, is always a risk. I understand that by printing every miniscule piece of news about the Volt, good or bad, TTAC is acknowledging the importance of the Volt to GM's future, if not America's, too. Or do you enjoy the prospects of becoming a branch plant to Asia Inc? I do not understand why so many people desperately cling to the notion that government is bad. There are plenty of stupid laws on the books, to be sure. There are plenty of things that the government could be doing, rather than what they are doing. However, the world that was contemplated by framers of your Constitution 250 years ago could not anticipate the world in which we live today. Everything from Enron to the Wall-Street implosion 4 years ago clearly indicates that Capitalism cannot be left to its own devices. The usual suspect rail against Government Motors, without making a peep about the subsidies and outright cash that Toyota and the gang have gotten from their government in the past 50 years. Like it or not, if you want to play in this game, you gotta pay. Don't like it? Tell Washington to make Tokyo, Seoul and the rest stop. Stop your States from giving away the farm every time an Asian company comes sniffing around their backyard. With the exception of the oil producing fiefdoms, the United States is the only place left on the planet where oil is still cheap. The party is over. What plane of existence are you all operating from? Nearly half your oil is imported. Tax the crap out of it, like the rest of the world, use half the proceeds to pay down your debt (for Gawd's Sake!) and the other half to SUBSIDIZE more technologies like the Volt in the hope of finding ways to get off sending half your paycheck to countries that hate you. The North Sea is nearly dry. Europe is going to be looking for more oil. Canada is looking at calling the American tree-hugger's bluff and sell its oil to China. I would feel a lot better having a Leaf or Volt in my driveway, knowing that if gasoline hits $1.70 a liter this summer, I would not give a damn. (BTW, before anyone tromps down THAT tired road again, Ontario gets 70% of its electricity from either hydro or nuclear.) Should I figure out a way to get a 150' extension cord off my balcony without the management seeing, I will be able to recharge my Volt or Leaf at night when the gas and coal fired plants in Ontario are shut down. Nobody laments the demise of big fins and the rumble of a 440 cu in engine more than me. It's time to find alternatives before the future passes us by.