GM planning to add 2nd shift for Volt production in 2012

While the sales figures aren’t setting the world on fire, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is currently winning the war for the top electric car in the US market but with deliveries slowed by lagging production, GM is planning to add a second shift for Volt production starting early in 2012.

The Detroit Hamtramck plant that currently builds the Chevy Volt also builds the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS – two vehicles which are currently being phased out. Once those two large sedans are gone, Hamtramck will be able to devote more time to the production of the Volt and by the end of 2011, GM plans to have built 25,000 examples of the range-extended electric sedan. However, come 2012, GM has big plans for the Volt and other Volt-based vehicles around the world (like the Opel Ampera) and in the 2012 calendar year, General Motors is planning to build an incredible 120,000 Volt-based vehicles.

According to the Automotive News, Hamtramck has already begun the planning to add the second shift but the key element in doubling the production time at the Volt assembly plant will take a great deal of man-power. Roughly 900-1,000 jobs will be added at Hamtramck to accommodate the needs of the second Volt production shift, with previously laid-off GM workers given the first shot at these new jobs. Training for the employees hired as part of the second shift planning will take place later this year, as the plant management wants to be ready to go as soon as GM gives them the green light to begin pumping out electric sedans at an even higher rate.

Even though GM is having some troubles delivering 2011 Chevy Volt sedans right now, they are doing a much better job than Nissan is doing in delivering the 2011 Leaf; sending out 928 Volts compared to less than 300 units of the electric Nissan. One key difference is that unlike Nissan, GM has gotten Volts to dealerships in their target areas so customers have the opportunity to check out the Volt in person, along with placing an order. On the other hand, Nissan has taken so many pre-orders for the Leak that every unit built is being sent to one of those individuals who ordered one in advance – leaving dealerships without them but that makes little difference, since Nissan is currently not accepting orders for their electric vehicle.

Source: Automotive News

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