Due to "Strong Public Interest," GM Decides to Build 50% More Volts in 2012

· · 10 years ago

General Motors is full of surprises these days. First the double-edged sword announcement last week that the Volt will retail at a base price of $41,000—$8,000 more than the nearest competitor, the Nissan LEAF—but it will also be available in a much more affordable $350 per month lease package, matching the Nissan LEAF's lease terms.

And now, during President Obama's tour of the Detroit-Hamtramck facility where the Chevrolet Volt is currently in production for an expected on sale date later this year, GM took the opportunity to announce that they are upping production numbers for the highly anticipated car from 30,000 units in 2012 to 45,000.

GM's previous plan called for a slow start, with a total of 10,000 Volts produced from now through the end of 2011, and then a modest ramp up to 30,000 vehicles in 2012. But it seems that the groundswell of support that the American public is showing for the next generation of plug-in vehicles has worn off on the majority tax payer owned company and, thanks to "strong public support," GM will now raise the 2012 output by 50%.

This is still dwarfed by Nissan's planned 50,000 LEAF output for 2011, 50,000 output for 2012, and more than 100,000 planned for 2013 and beyond. But when you consider that Nissan will be selling all of those vehicles around the world, whereas GM only has plans for North America initially, the actual number of LEAFs available in the US in 2012 might be smaller than the number of Volts.

"The Chevrolet Volt provides drivers with the latest technology, outstanding innovation, and something no other electric vehicle can provide – peace of mind," said Ed Whitacre, GM Chairman and CEO, banging further on the "it's a real car" marketing message. "We are very proud to host the President of the United States at this plant, where the future of the American automobile industry is being built today by the men and women of General Motors."

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