just-auto.com

US: Volt plant to idle for line upgrades

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 May 2011

New GM Korea-designed Chevy Malibu will be sold worldwide; was largely designed by GM Korea

New GM Korea-designed Chevy Malibu will be sold worldwide; was largely designed by GM Korea

General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant is to close for four weeks next month for planned upgrades to prepare for a significant increase in the rate of Chevrolet Volt production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.

Already in tight supply, the number of Volts available for delivery to retail customers will be further restricted over the next three months before production resumes and exports of the Volt and the Opel Ampera begin to Europe and China.

Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt marketing, said: “The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011.  By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand."

As a result of the plant upgrades, Volt and Ampera production capacity this year will increase to 16,000 units, including exports and a fleet of several hundred demonstration units sent to US dealers.  

Next year global production capacity is expected to be 60,000 vehicles with an estimated 45,000 to be delivered in the US.

During the four-week shutdown will allow the installation of new tools, equipment and overhead conveyor systems throughout the facility. This will prepare the plant for Volt and Ampera production and continue work on projects in preparation to launch the redesigned Malibu next year.

Coupled with already low dealer inventories and strong demand, the suspension of production, will result in limited availability and reduced sales in June and July, GM said.