The assembly lines that make the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle will go idle for four weeks this September. The reason: General Motors bosses want to retool the plant to add production for the 2014 Impala sedan.
Well, that's one reason. Contacted Tuesday morning, a General Motors spokesman says that the plant will be idled to match inventory with production, as well as retooling to get ready for 2014 Impala production. Considering that the 2013 Malibu – also made at Hamtramck – is selling well, we'd hazard that GM is "matching inventory with production" for the Volt.
That's not to say that Volt isn't selling: the 10,666 sales through July is many times more than the 2870 it sold during the same period in 2011, but Automotive News reports that GM is sitting on an 84-day supply (or 6500 units) as of the first of the month. That 10,666 figure also means the Volt's 2012 sales will fall well short of CEO Dan Akerson's stated goal of 45,000 sales for 2012.
With Volt sales increasing at a rate slower than General Motors originally predicted, there's some space at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant to produce other vehicles. The plant has already been prepped to make the 2013 Malibu (and 590 have been made there so far), and it will start making the 2014 Impala early next year. General Motors has promised to add a second shift at Detroit-Hamtramck by then, primarily tasked with Impala production.