GM: Chevrolet Volt Production to Restart Earlier Than Expected Due to Sales Uptick
April 6, 2012 11:02 AM
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The production halt was expected to last four weeks, but will resume a few days early
After a temporary halt in March, General Motors (GM) has announced that
production of the Chevrolet Volt
will start back up earlier than expected on April 16.
On March 19, GM put a halt on Chevrolet Volt production in order to get rid of some of the older versions of the plug-in electric hybrid and make room for those with the recent battery fix. Also, new Volts with the changes made for the California market are making their way into the inventory.
The production halt was expected to last for four weeks. However, new reports show that Volt production will resume a few days earlier than planned. GM has already started notifying Detroit-Hamtramck plant employees, where the Volt is assembled.
It's a good time to bring Volt production back to life, since it seems that Volt popularity has risen recently. In March, U.S.
Volt sales shot up to 2,289
, which is its best month yet since release. Of that total, 2,129 were sold to retail customers while 160 were sold to fleet customers.
Even former Republican
President George H.W. Bush jumped on the opportunity to buy a Volt
, and gave it to his son, Neil Bush, as a birthday present.
This surge in sales couldn't have come at a better time, either. The Volt had a difficult year throughout much of 2011 and during the beginning of 2012 due to problems with battery fires.
In May 2011, Chevrolet's Volt caught fire three weeks after a side-impact crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Volt was parked in a NHTSA testing facility in Wisconsin, and was so severe that it ended up catching nearby cars on fire as well. This led to an investigation into the safety of lithium batteries.
Later, in November 2011, NHTSA conducted three more side-impact crash tests on three separate Volts.
Two out of three ended up sparking or catching fire
while the third remained normal.
GM moved quickly, offering loaner vehicles to customers and even buying Volts back from scared owners. In January 2012,
GM recalled 8,000 Volts off the road
as well as another 4,400 for sale in showrooms to fix the batteries. The fix entailed the addition of steel to the plate that protects the EV's T-shaped, 400-pound battery. This aimed to prevent penetration into the battery in case of an auto accident, and would stop both coolant from leaking and would evenly distribute the force of a crash.
The investigation placed a
bad image on the Volt
for awhile. Customers were afraid to purchase it, and
dealerships wanted nothing to do with it
since it wasn't selling.
in January 2012 with only 603 Volts sold.
But it looks as if the Volt's luck is turning around, with March sales at its best and an early production start beginning in 10 days.
"It seems like we've sustained ourselves through this difficult period," said Dan Akerson, GM CEO. "We hope to get up to 3,000 plus in the coming months and are certainly positioning it."
According to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, the Volt made a comeback because people are beginning to get to know the car well and understand how it works.
"We're matching production with demand," said Reuss.
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RE: Good news
4/6/2012 1:17:08 PM
The Federal gas tax alone adds an extra $25 billion to the cost of gasoline, so the net effect of subsidies + taxes (using your $10 billion) is that the government charges an extra $15 billion to use gas. Many states also have their own fuel taxes, so the subsidy to oil companies is more than counteracted by these taxes.
To put it another way, it's like if the government gave each EV purchaser a $7500 tax break for buying the EV, but then charged them an extra $18750 special EV tax. And your state also had its own special EV taxes to add on top of that.
Even if you ignore the additional taxes, the oil subsidies amount to less than 2% the price of gas, while solar subsidies are about 20% the cost of PV panels, and EV subsidies about 15% the cost of an EV. The argument you're reciting was created by someone who did poorly in math and had no idea when it's appropriate to compare percentages, and when it's appropriate to compare raw numbers. If I were to use your argument in a different context, it's like saying "OMFG! The top 1% pay an average of over $250,000 in taxes each, while the bottom 99% pay an average of less than $5,000 each. What are they complaining about?"
RE: Good news
4/6/2012 2:07:48 PM
oil subsidies outweigh federal taxes on petrolium/diesel products by the
get your facts straight. if the government taxes had that big of an effect on oil prices, they'd be able to stabilize the price at the pump, but they can't, they depend on their malfunctional lobbying to keep big oil in check. over the last 10 years, that has obviously backfired at the expense of consumers alone. politicians and oil companies are making trillions at the pump, in subsidies, and in taxes.
exxon mobile paid 10 million dollars in taxes last year (2010)
10 million dollars from a company that sold 2.4 trillion dollars worth of product.
RE: Good news
4/6/2012 5:09:22 PM
While I will be the first to say that there are many very large corporations that need to pay more taxes, oil companies included, you need to qualify what you just said.
Let's say that you are correct, 10M on 2.4T of sales. Now is that gross sales or net profit? This is where we all should pay more attention to what our lawmakers do. If the 2.4T is net profit, how were they able to cut that back with loopholes built into the tax system to only pay 10M? Shouldn't we pay more attention to getting rid of these loopholes rather than just crying about how evil big oil is?
The same could be said about the mortgage interest deduction on a house that you might own and use to decrease your personal income tax load. I know more than a few people who will say that it is unfair that just because I own a house that I get a tax break, and they are probably correct, but as long as that loophole exists, I will use it.
The long and short of it is that don't blame Exxon or Chevron or GE for using loopholes that were put into the system, you would do the same thing. Work on getting rid of the loopholes and the people back in DC that put them there in the first place.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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