General Motors is to suspend production of its
Volt hybrid car to trim excess inventory of the vehicle once touted
as the future of the US auto giant, the Wall Street Journal reported
Production of the gasoline-electric hybrid will stop on September 17 at the GM plant in Hamtramck, Michigan and resume on October 12, the second time in a year that output has been pared to meet soft demand for the vehicle.
According to the report, the company has sold 10,666 of the 40,000-dollar Volts so far this year. The company had hoped to sell 60,000 Volts around the world in 2012 including 45,000 in the United States. In June, GM's CEO Dan Ackerman predicted sales of between 35,000 to 40,000.
GM engineers will use the production hiatus to prepare the production line for the manufacture of the redesigned Chevy Impala, the report said.
Volt can travel up to 48 kilometres on its lithium-ion batteries before a gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the battery pack.
Sales of the vehicle slowed down after regulators launched investigations late year into the vehicles' fire safety. Sales never rebounded even when the probes concluded that there was nor greater fire risk than on other cars.
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