General Motors has insisted it will roll out the Chevrolet Volt electric car by 2010, whether not it gets government loans it has said it needs to survive into next year.

Speculation over the Volt's future intensified this week after the automaker delayed construction of a factory in Flint, Michigan, planned to build the car's engine.

There is also no final commitment yet to a new factory in Hamtramck, also in Michigan, where GM has said it will build the much-publicised car.

"Although we are temporarily absolutely stopping all work on everything, the Volt will be out as originally scheduled," a GM executive told Dow Jones Newswires, adding that the project would continue even if the emergency funding was not offered.

Sources told the news agency GM would still have some funding for new model, even if forced into bankruptcy, while the 1.4-litre engine that powers the generator when the plug-in electric car's battery is depleted could be sourced from other company factories overseas already building it.

GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel told Reuters GM had decided to suspend construction work on the Flint engine plant as its cash crunch worsened but the automaker hoped the suspension would only be temporary.

"It's on a temporary hold, and what that means is that we're not going to be committing to any cash outlays for structural steel or other things," Basel told the news agency. "In the last month, things became extremely dire."

Flint was also to build a turbocharged version of the 1.4-litre engine for the Chevrolet Cruze small car but, as the Cruze is also being built elsewhere, engines for US models could be imported from overseas initially.

Basel also said there had been no change to GM's commitment to push ahead with the Volt for a launch in 2010. "There is no impact on the start of production," she said.

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