GM may have something big in store for its 100th anniversary in September

General Motors is treading in some dangerous waters these days. The company -- along with a number of other auto manufacturers with a truck-heavy product lineup -- is seeing a huge decline in sales as gas prices soar. GM’s stock price hit $9.92 last week -- a 54-year low. 

The company is in full crisis mode now and already announced plans to either idle or close some of its full-size truck production facilities. GM also halted plans for the next generation of its highly profitable full-size trucks and put its engineers to work on more fuel efficient car platforms.

GM is also considering slashing its sizeable brand portfolio. There are already talks in place to sell its Hummer brand, but other possible candidates include Pontiac, Saab, and Buick.

With all of the negative vibes surrounding GM these days, the company needs something to get public's mind off its problems. Thankfully for GM, it has the perfect cure-all in the form of the Chevrolet Volt.

According to sources familiar with the Volt program, GM is working overtime to ready a production version of the vehicle to celebrate its 100th anniversary on September 16. Although it’s highly possible that GM could pull off showing a production version of the Volt within the next few months, the vehicle still won't arrive at dealerships until 2010 at the earliest.

The production version of the Volt is expected to differ greatly visually from the concept vehicle that has been on display at numerous auto shows and technology expos. Significant changes have been made to improve the aerodynamics and make the vehicle meet all federal safety regulations.

The Chevy Volt houses a powerful lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors to propel the vehicle for 40 miles. A 1.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine springs to life to recharge the battery pack once it reaches a predetermined level. Most, however, will likely plug their Volt into a standard household outlet to charge the battery pack overnight.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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