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I agree, something just doesn't ring true. The Ampre and the California HOV Volt are supossedly in high demand and they close the plant? Plus with 12,000 Volts on order from GE.
 

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I'm not sure I'd link an award to not halting production. It's not as if the Volt hasn't won a ton of awards before!

What seems more odd to me is that just from postings in this forum it's clear that sales have picked up dramatically, and with all this talk of $5/gallon gasoline I expect that is a trend which will continue. So the halt for the holidays, then the restart, and then another halt, just seems like you have a drunk at the wheel of your semi. Maybe the GE order has something to do with it? But so far I haven't seen what I consider to be a decent explanation.
 

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They are being very cautios, and they did produce 1000 a week which is pretty crazy, start of the year is going to be slow so if they want to stop that the time to do it. Maybe we will get some good news later on saying GM have to restart Volt production due to demand.

Bottom line they are adjusting to demand and with a run rate at 1000 a week.
 

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They are being very cautios, and they did produce 1000 a week which is pretty crazy, start of the year is going to be slow so if they want to stop that the time to do it. Maybe we will get some good news later on saying GM have to restart Volt production due to demand.

Bottom line they are adjusting to demand and with a run rate at 1000 a week.
This is a good point and perhaps the simplest is better than all of the theories. A little good news by GM would certainly be along the lines of "increasing demand to meet increased supply." It is much easier to swallow by taking the sting out now rather than having produced 65,000 Volts just sitting on lots. GM knows about the liklihood of bumps in sales with the HOV Volts, increase in gas prices, etc. (without getting into the guesswork of a presidential election year). This is not a bad way to push a product either. Rather than flood the market with such a "controversial" vehicle, why not trickle it out to meet demand. This is how it launched over the past year and they met their goal by 75%. Not bad. I'm faithful there isn't much more going on than the bean counters at GM doing what they do.
 

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I think maybe having the assembly plant currently only producing VOLTs until the Malibu starts up is what is the build capacity issue here. If the VOLT was being built along with other cars then the production volume can be adjusted without any temporary shutdown. But since it is a high volume plant they likely cannot easily rebalance the whole production system to match what volume they want to run at. So they take a production pause instead. The only problem, if I am right on this, is that the impression to the "public" is that the VOLT is not selling so this strategy to minimize production costs until the Malibu gets in there is an error by management in giving the public wrong perception on the car. This is unfortunate since just as GM was getting over all the incorrect and negative press and winning in Europe they shutdown a high capacity plant to match the demand rather than just build at a lower less efficient rate and protect the real image of the car.
 

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What I don't get with the shutdown is that there seem to be, according to GM and other parties and simple estimates, the ability to sell at least 36,000 Volts/Amperas this year and as many as 42,000. How do I so figure? As follows:


  • Conservative sales USA: 20,000
  • Unfulfilled GE Orders: 12,000
  • Unfilled Ampera Orders: 6,000
  • Conservative sales Canada: 2,000
  • Conservative sales Australia: 2,000
  • Conservative "other" fleet: 2,000

That's 42,000 units right there.

Even if you assume GE would only take 1/2 the orders this year, that's still 36,000 units conservatively. That's 3,000 a month. Even if US sales are "only" 12,000 we're only down to around 30,000 units -- ironically, the very number GM indicated as a target back in 2009.

I'm at a loss re: what's up but am very happy the Ampera is European Car of the Year. My note to GM? Build Amperas for Europe and Volts for Canada and Australia if the US hasn't gotten with the program yet.

If it is Malibu related, they should have so indicated as it would not look bad on the Volt. But somehow GM shows a brilliant incompetence with the Volt that is magnificently staggering. It's as if they have feet lined up to shovel into their open mouths.
 

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The Ampera makes even more sense in Europe than the Vold does here. Cities are smaller making the 40 mile range more acceptable. Gas is way more expensive. Standard power is 240vac, so no need for L1 chargers. Many European countries rely heavily on nuclear power resulting in an abundance of power during off peak hours. A lot of people live where they do not have access to a power point for their car, but those that do earn enough to afford the Ampera. Because of high income taxes a company car is often offered in lieu of higher compensation, in this situation the Ampera is a good choice as it can be written off by the employer as a business expense and insurance, operating and maintenance costs should be lower than similarly price ICE powered vehicles.
 

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Remember too that the trains run slow as some here have stated.

Crank up the plant in later April. cars made will take 3-4 weeks more to get to anyone who orders during late March into April. So, order March 15, delivery should be roughly mid-May. If you want a Volt over the next few months, it'll take dealer-wrangling or some travel (which I'd be wiling to do) to find the right model.

Not all buyers want to travel. Rational people, like my wife, want to go at most 15 miles to a dealership. I'd fly to Detroit if I could pick it up and try to avoid the destination charge :)
 
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