General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant is back to producing Chevy Volts and Opel/Vauxhall Amperas a week earlier than scheduled due to encouraging March Volt sales of 2,289 units.
GM had shut down the plug-in hybrid’s assembly line for an initially scheduled period of five weeks to help curtail excess supply, but says it is now optimistic demand is picking up.
Last month’s all time high exceeded the previous peak of 1,529 units in December, and GM CEO Dan Akerson has been quoted saying he’d like to see 2,000-3,000 per month, but we’ve heard others at GM say they’d not be surprised if April is weaker month than last.
With a federal battery investigation behind it and positive pressure for sales, GM’s halo car has industry watchers waiting to see how things will go.
Other sales-inducing factors include solo-HOV-lane legal California Volts now available, ever-rising fuel prices, and an apparent taming of some critics, not to mention conservative public figures coming out in its favor besides.
Still, the Volt catches criticism for its price, which despite government subsidies being available, has even some of those who otherwise love the car expressing hope for a decrease. Other early adapters have said they are fine with it, have said it is a good value where it is, and are reaping big savings month after month.
Adverting, marketing, word of mouth recommendations – and a fairly low lease rate deal being offered – are all further factors that stand to increase sales. Most of all, advocates say, is the underlying fundamental that the car itself is well engineered, and is an idea whose time has come.