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Chevrolet Volt  (Source:
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. Sales plunged 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.

Source: Automotive News

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RE: Good news
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/2012 8:14:51 PM , Rating: 3
I propose a special tax on whatever niche you fit into. :)

RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2012 8:23:54 AM , Rating: 3
I propose a special tax on whatever niche you fit into. :)

We're already paying that. It's called a "gas" tax and other taxes that EV owners get massive breaks on and we don't.

It's time to end the subsidy for EV's and ALSO level the playing field (favorite slogan of the left). Tax EV's just like any other vehicle that uses the roads and stop paying people to buy them, THEN we can see how the Volt sells.

RE: Good news
By Jedi2155 on 4/7/2012 8:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
Lets consider it an incentive for EV drivers, until the EV market reaches mass appeal. Then you can tax us for it. To tax an emerging market is to kill it, which is completely opposite of the point of the tax credit to begin with.

RE: Good news
By Reclaimer77 on 4/8/2012 8:53:45 AM , Rating: 1
The job of the Government is not to "incentivise" people to buy certain goods over others. That's called picking winners. And damages our market. Especially when the company it's backing took billions in taxpayer money. Conflict of interest much?

You people act as if we have a moral imperative to "get off oil" and go EV. That's rubbish and has no place in this discussion. If we have to pay people to do so, we're no better off than when we started!

I get the point of the tax credit, Jedi. You don't have to explain the rationale behind it for me, thanks. But that's missing MY point.

RE: Good news
By RU482 on 4/8/2012 6:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
doesn't the higher MSRP, and thus higher yearly tags/tax rate you pay for an EV/PHEV accomplish the same thing inherently as a fuel (or energy) tax, when compared to a similar class car?

in other words, if I buy a Volt, I'm paying a much higher tax/tag fee to the state DOT every year than a comparably sized vehicle, thus at least leveling the playing field on how much money gets applied (in theory) toward road maintenance.

RE: Good news
By tng on 4/8/2012 10:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
...if I buy a Volt, I'm paying a much higher tax/tag fee to the state DOT every year than a comparably sized vehicle, thus at least leveling the playing field on how much money gets applied (in theory) toward road maintenance.
So all those poor people who bought a $40K car that uses gas should get a refund for all the gas taxes they have paid?

Sorry you don't get it, license fees and registration fees are typically state, and fund state motor vehicle departments. Gas taxes are federal and are used for road maintenance. One does not support the other

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