General Motors has confirmed that it will be temporarily suspending production of the Chevy Volt and putting jobs related to it on hold.
This comes even as February sales figures showed Volt numbers on the up swing.
GM spokesperson Chris Lee told the Detroit Free Press that it would need to temporarily lay off 1,300 employees until it begins production of the Volt again in late April. Reuters quoted Lee as well as saying "we’re going to build to market demand."
GM also attempted to assure concerned customers on its Facebook page that "the Chevrolet Volt had a great February (1k+ sales) and we stand behind the vehicle & technology. We’re simply adjusting for market demand and see great potential, especially in states like California, where new HOV access provides the opportunity for further Volt momentum."
The Chevy Volt, which was recently approved to use California’s HOV lanes, has struggled with issues in the last few months that are casting a pale light over this green car experiment by the giant American automaker. The biggest issue? Concerns about its battery pack catching on fire after crashes. However, the NHTSA ruled in late January that its concerns around this potential problem had been addressed.
The Volt, which certainly has had its share of critics, has been part of a big push by GM to reinvent itself as a revitalized automaker. Some of its marketing techniques for explaining what the Volt is to consumers have been a bit strange, but the vehicle for the most part has gotten its share of positive industry love. That’s not been enough though to help push sales, which last year fell several thousand short of GM’s goal of 10,000 vehicles moved.