A key component of the Chevy Volt is the combustion engine that will act as the range-extender, turning the generator to make electricity for continued driving beyond the first 40 miles between charges.

One chapter of the Volt story was that a 1.4 L Family 0 normally-aspirated engine had been chosen for this task. Last year a Flint Michigan facility was chosen by GM to produce those engines for use in the Volt, and a turbo variety for use in the upcoming Chevy Cruze. However, GM's financial difficulties has led to a suspension of that plant's construction. This has not led to any delays in Volt production though, because engines for the initial Volts it turns out were never intended to come from that facility.

"The first engines we were going to get from Austria anyway," said Tony Posawatz GM Volt vehicle line director,"that's always been the plan."

When asked whether volumes in the thousands would be imported from there for the Volt, Posawatz said they would import "one for every Volt." He noted that "the issue becomes that even if we go to higher volumes, they have the capability, but if the industry becomes more directed towards four cylinders than sixes and eights, we'd want an on site facility instead of shipping those things across the ocean."

And for that eventuality GM had planned the Flint plant which is in closer proximity to the Detroit-Hamtramck facility where the Volt itself will be assembled. Posawatz indicates the delay in that plant is related to GM's cash flow problem that he thinks is "going to get sorted out."

And that even though the Flint plant would be ideal he says GM, "needs to respond to the government challenges and concerns," and that the plant really isn't an "absolute thing that must happen off the bat since the engine's already coming from an existing plant."

Wards Auto has also confirmed this information and gives the engine plants specific location as Aspern Austria where these family 0 engines are already being built. Furthermore the report indicates GM still hopes to build the plant in Flint only in a different greenfield location. It was also noted that the dedicated Michigan battery pack assembly plant plan remains intact although no specific location has been chosen yet.