Chevy Volt Production Suspended for 5 Weeks Due to Lower Than Expected Demand

By · March 03, 2012

Chevy Volt

GM will suspend production of the Chevy Volt for 5 weeks starting on March 19.

On March 19, General Motors will suspend production of the Chevrolet Volt for five weeks and temporarily lay off 1,300 employees as the automaker attempts to match "production levels with demand," according to GM spokesman Chris Lee. Production of the Volt will resume on April 23.

Lee told MLive.com that Volt sales in January were "encouraging," but still weren't enough to keep continuing production. The temporary shuttering is in line with recent company statements."We’re going to match production with demand," said Akerson, GM's chief executive officer. "There are new variables in the equation, so we’ll see."

Chevy Volt supply has reportedly reached 150 days. The shutdown comes after a lengthy retooling at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly site that ended in early February.

Analysts point to bad publicity as part of the problem. "I think they [General Motors] believe they have been hammered in perception by the perceived safety issue," said Alan Baum, principal automotive research analyst at Baum and Associates. He suggested that GM might go back to the drawing board with its marketing messages, and then ramp up campaigns to hopefully improve sales.

It remains to be seen to what extent a change of marketing messaging can expand the relatively niche market for a small $40,000-plus Chevy, despite its ground-breaking technological achievements.

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