[ad#post_ad]GM vice president Bob Lutz gave the keynote speech at the LA Auto Show in place of the suddenly ousted former CEO Fritz Henderson.
His speech focused significantly on the electrification transformation underway at GM.
"GM is moving from a company that, for 100 years, has been based on mechanically driven automobiles, to one that will eventually be focused on electrically driven vehicles," he said. "This is a big deal."
Lutz summarized the Volt's three-year development voyage and highlighted the fact that GM has decided to make pack assembly a core competency.
Even though GM will be sourcing the generation one Volt's electric motor from a supplier, this won't be the case in the future.
"We also determined that the design, development, and production of electric motors and power electronics need to be core competencies for GM – and we’re moving in those directions, too," said Lutz.
Lutz spelled out GM's plan to roll out the Volt gradually in limited selected US markets beginning with some in California. He admitted demand is likely to far outstrip supply initially.
He also publicly verified for the first time ever the actual production numbers GM is planning.
"In the first few months we will be producing 4000 to 5000 Volts," he said. " In the first full year we will make eight to ten thousand."
"We are going to ramp it up slowly becasue it is all uncharted terrain for all of us once we start turning out (battery) packs in very high rates," he said.
He also said full production capacity will be 50,000 to 60,000 Volts per year.
Lutz predicts the total plug-in car market including BEVs, PHEVs, and EREVS will be about 250,000 to 300,000 per year in five years. "They will mostly be our products," he joked.
Not confirming the Converj is production-tracked, he said there are "many products" in the pipeline.