GM has suspended production of the Volt at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant in order to get ready for the revamped 2016 Volt, which is to go on sale in the second half of this year. The company plans to invest a total of $343 million to retool for its lineup of next-generation hybrid vehicles.
The production pause will last six weeks, which is almost double the normal retooling time. According to the Detroit Free Press, this will allow GM to clear out an oversupply of the outgoing Volt model. There’s currently about a 200-day supply of Volts at dealerships, and automakers usually like to have about a 60-day supply, said GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho.
Sales of the 2015 Volt have been slow – only 1,874 units were sold in the first quarter, a 48 percent decrease from the same period last year. In March, the Nissan LEAF snatched the title of top-selling US plug-in. The EV press tends to blame the sales slump on buyers holding out for the new and improved Volt, while the mainstream media naturally ascribes it to low gas prices.
“Halting Chevrolet Volt production in anticipation of the all-new 2016 model year is a smart move for GM, and allows for less inventory and incentives on the outgoing model,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.