Skip to comments.GM to idle Volt plant for 4 weeks, sources say
Posted on 08/28/2012 2:54:30 AM PDT by equaviator
DETROIT -- General Motors plans to idle the plant where it assembles the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid for four weeks starting next month, two people familiar with the plans said.
GM will close its Detroit-Hamtramck plant from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15, one of the sources said. Union representatives last week told the plant's roughly 1,500 workers about the scheduled downtime, the source said.
GM also notified suppliers last week, according to another source in the supply chain.
A GM spokesman wouldn't confirm whether the company planned to idle the plant.
"We don't comment on production schedules," the spokesman said. "We continue to match supply and demand."
GM assembles the Volt and recently began making small numbers of the redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which straddles both cities' limits. GM assembled 590 Malibus in June and July, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Most Malibu production is done at GM's Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan.
It's the second time this year that GM has throttled back on Volt production. The Detroit-Hamtramck plant was idled from March 19 until April 16 amid swollen Volt inventories.
Volt demand has picked up this year, after sales last year fell short of GM's goals. GM sold 10,666 Volts through July, more than triple the 2,870 sold during the same period a year earlier.
GM executives have attributed the sales increase to strong demand for a low-emissions version of the Volt that qualifies for California's coveted carpool lanes, which GM launched in March. Previous versions of the Volt didn't qualify.
Volt inventories have been whittled down, too, to 6,500 units, or 84 days' worth, as of Aug. 1. On March 1, just before the last production shutdown, GM had 154 days' worth.
Tracking EV sales
Volt sales have been a closely watched barometer of demand for electrified vehicles, as several other automakers are in various stages of rolling out electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Volt also has become a target of conservatives who criticize the Obama administration's financial support for green-car technology.
GM has said it plans to add a second shift to the Detroit-Hamtramck plant once it starts production of the next-generation Chevrolet Impala sedan there. GM is expected to begin making the redesigned Impala at the plant during the first quarter of 2013.
James B. Treece contributed to this report.
Ok, I am all in favor of "flexible plants", but it is usually reserved for "like" platforms. I don't think the Malibu is on the same platform as the Volt. If so what are they doing? 590 for a production run it pitiful for a high volume car. Does that mean they were built slow and almost by hand?
What is really going on here? I am and you are (without our consent) "shareholders", I'd like to know...
Don’t worry about those UAW workers being laid off for 4 weeks. UAW auto workers draw 98% of their pay while laid off.
I’ve only seen one Volt on the road since this thing has went into production, and I could tell by who was driving it in my local community that it was someone wealthy enough to have discretionary income high enough to throw away on novelty items like that..........and a novelty is all it is. It makes the Edsel look like a sales winner.
This is the traditional down-time for many plants to retool for the next model year.
Is the plant run on batteries too?
They have been so successful that they can afford to take a month off. Isn’t socialism great?
At least they’re not sucking up OT, which is really where they haul in the big bucks.
That's true enough, but where's the traditional hoopla about the new improved snazzier model of the Volt. Ain't happening.
And this is the third downtime for the plant this year.
Detroit News. Aug 2 2012
The company abandoned its 2012 U.S. sales forecast of 45,000, saying it would instead match supply to meet demand.
GM had been forced to idle the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant for two stretches this year because of lower demand.
Factoring in the extended cost of the downtime the hidden cost per unit the Volt is mounting, making it a miserable failure in the market place. It's also become a hand built car in the process realizing no economies of scale.
And when hopefully, Obama is defeated the Volt willbe discontinued for good.
The government now has a vested self-interest in making gas prices rise - to sell more Volts.
Ah, for the good old days of the Yugo.
Embrace Nazi business models, die by Nazi business models.
“Volt sales have been a closely watched barometer of demand for electrified vehicles”
Only an idiot would believe that. With the subsidy, crony sales to GE, federal fleet sales, and grants to local governments to buy them, the Volt is certainly not a barometer of the market for electric cars.
I actually saw my first Volt this past Saturday at our towns transfer station(formerly the dump). It was bright red. It was being driven by a tall thin man in his 60’s.
On the back was a brand new Obama/Biden 2012 bumper sticker.
He did not appear to be poor based on the way he was dressed.
UAW auto workers draw 98% of their pay while laid off.
But now I'm kind of pissed off.
They have shut down to tool-up for a new safety system for the volt.....they’re going to install automatic sprinklers on them.
Yes and No...
If my memory is correct is was 2 weeks around the 4th of July. That gave them 2 months of production for new cars in the show rooms during September.
Ford in particular now has white collar - salary employees take one week off the week of 7/4 to conicide with plant shutdown / retool time..
Tanget to this last year the Obamatons played some funny downtime(s) with their GM'ers to boost employment numbers, this might be part of this as well....
Next we will be seeing where Volts are being auctioned at Sotheby's and Christie's.
Stupid question but don’t most auto companies shut down plants during the year to do repairs/maintenance and upgrade?
If GM wanted to increase Volt sales to the general public, all they would need do is rip out that bizarre power train system and install a 350 small bock Chevy engine with an Edelbrock blower.
I heard the Volt is going to be rebranded as the new “Firebird”.
Or the new Pinto.
You are correct.
However, it was/is usually done around the 4th of July to correspond with a lot of workers being on vacation. Those ones who weren't on vacation, then got OT for doing the retooling, which did not require as many workers.
That said, this shutdown is happening from mid-September to mid-October which is the traditional time for roll-out of new models.
Which is an even bigger indicator of the dismal sales performance of the Volt.
So you’re saying that’s all it is?...Nothing more tuit than that?
Plus the Obama campaign gets to add 1500 workers!
“I heard the Volt is going to be rebranded as the new Firebird.”
More like ‘Fireturd’.
I’ve only see two. One at a dealer, the other on the road. Hideous thing.