GM needs to close Detroit plant to boost Chevy Volt production

GM announced today that its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, 4 miles north of its headquarters, would close four weeks this June for upgrades, including new tooling, conveyers and other equipment, in preparation for an increase in production of the increasingly popular Chevy Volt by 33 percent over original plans.
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Roughly 16,000 Volts will be produced this year followed by 60,000 in 2012, Bloomberg’s Craig Trudell reported this afternoon. The automaker’s previous production target was 15,000 this year and 45,000 next, according to an email from GM spokesman Rob Peterson.
CEO Dan Akerson reportedly stated GM needs to offer more fuel-efficient vehicles as gasoline prices rise. They plan to add the Voltec gasoline-electric drive system to their lineup in preparation for oil prices possibly increasing to $120 a barrel.

The plant will also be gearing up to produce the Chevrolet Malibu next year.

The idled factory will decrease the already restricted inventory of the Volt during June and July. GM delivered 493 Volts in April, reaching 1,703 units so far this year.

Akerson has indicated he’d like GM to increase production of the Volt to up to 120,000 units next year, according to unnamed sources.

GM is looking for ways to further boost capacity and will endeavor to increase output if demand for the model warrants, Peterson stated on the phone.

TorqueNews has already reported the reaction of new owners to the car picked Car of the Year at the Detroit Auto show this year. One owner said he was getting over 500 miles to the gallon while another reported 1,000 miles between fuel stops.

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