Embattled automaker General Motors plans to halt -- for at least four weeks -- the manufacture of its infamous Chevrolet Volt, Automotive News reports.
“It would be the second interruption in production for the Volt, which can go 38 miles on battery power before needing a recharge from its gasoline engine or via a plug-in,” USA Today adds.
The Detroit-Hamtramck plant will suspend production from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15, Automotive News reports, citing an anonymous source. Apparently, UAW leaders informed the plant's 1,500 union workers about the scheduled halt last week, according to said anonymous source.
Suppliers were also notified of the decision last week, according to another source.
However, unlike what was previously reported, GM claims suspension of production is not due to a lack of sales.
"We are not idling the plant due to poor Volt sales. We're gearing up for production of the new Impala," Chevy spokesman David Darovitz told USA Today in an email.
"We are comfortable with our current inventory levels of these products, which allows us to take time for launch readiness of the Impala. This may include making certain areas of the line more efficient, address space constraints for incoming materials, provide additional training and more," he added.
As of this writing, GM has sold 10,666 Volts through July, which, luckily for the automaker, is a major improvement over the 2,870 it sold at this time a year earlier.
“GM executives have attributed the sales increase to strong demand for a low-emissions version of the Volt that qualifies for California's coveted carpool lanes, which GM launched in March. Previous versions of the Volt didn't qualify,” Automotive News reports.
“Volt inventories have been whittled down, too, to 6,500 units, or 84 days' worth, as of Aug. 1. On March 1, just before the last production shutdown, GM had 154 days' worth,” the report adds.
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Front page photo courtesy the AP. This story has been updated to reflect clarifications made by both USA Today and GM spokespeople.