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957GM's Chevy Volt Is a "Go" -- Production Vehicle, in Showrooms in 2010

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  • Felix Kramer
    Jun 4 8:06 AM
      It's a milestone day. GM's CEO has announced that
      the Board of Directors has OK'd mass production
      of the Chevy Volt beginning in late 2010 --
      moving that date from a goal to a commitment.
      That also sets the stage, we hope, for earlier
      preliminary rollouts of the vehicle in California
      and other receptive markets, which we think will
      become more likely as the presidential candidates
      weigh in with more details of their plans to promote plug-in cars.

      See http://gm-volt.com/ for coverage and
      commentary. That website picks up a story from The Auto Channel:
      Chevy Volt Is (Really) A Go!

      WILMINGTON, Del. June 3, 2008;GM today announced
      a range of strategic initiatives to aggressively
      respond to growing demand for fuel-efficient
      vehicles and to economic and market challenges in
      North America. Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and CEO,
      made the announcements here as part of the GM annual meeting of stockholders.

      The Chevy Volt took a major step toward the
      showroom with formal approval by the GM board of
      funding for production of the extended-range
      electric vehicle. This approval, which includes
      funding for production development and tooling,
      indicates that GM leadership believes that the
      technology for the Volt, including its
      lithium-ion batteries, will be ready for volume production on schedule.

      "The Chevy Volt is a go," said Wagoner. "We
      believe this is the biggest step yet in our
      industry's move away from our historic, virtually
      complete reliance on petroleum to power vehicles."

      "We intend to show a production version of the
      Chevy Volt publicly in the very near future, and
      we remain focused on our target of getting the
      Volt into Chevrolet showrooms by the end of 2010," Wagoner said.

      Preliminary plans are to produce the Volt at GM's
      Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, subject to
      successful discussions with state and local governments.

      And the New York Times, with stories on the slump
      in SUVs and declining monthly sales for the 3 US carmakers, reports that
      G.M. Shifts Focus to Small Cars in Sign of Sport Utility Demise
      Published: June 4, 2008

      DETROIT — Even General Motors, the steadfast
      champion of big sport utility vehicles and pickup
      trucks, is thinking small now.

      With no end in sight for elevated gas prices,
      G.M. announced drastic cuts in production of
      sport utility vehicles and pickups on Tuesday and
      stepped up plans for smaller cars and engines.

      G.M.’s chairman and chief executive, Rick
      Wagoner, said G.M. will cease production at four
      North American assembly plants that make S.U.V.’s and pickups by 2010.

      And in a humbling admission that the S.U.V. era
      is all but over, G.M., Detroit’s leading
      automaker, said it was considering selling the
      gas-guzzling Hummer brand it once regarded as a pillar of future growth.
      G.M. hopes to counter the drop in S.U.V. and
      truck sales by increasing car production and
      accelerating the development of more fuel-efficient models.

      The automaker will add third shifts in September
      at plants in Michigan and Ohio that make midsize sedans and compact models.

      G.M.’s board also approved production of two new
      small cars and a new four-cylinder, 1.4-liter
      engine, and gave the green light for production of the Chevrolet Volt by 2010.

      The Volt, which will be powered by batteries
      augmented by a small gasoline engine, is the
      centerpiece of G.M.’s push to develop alternative-fuel vehicles.

      “The Chevy Volt is a go,” Mr. Wagoner said. “We
      believe this is the biggest step in our
      industry’s move away from our historic, virtually
      complete reliance on petroleum to power vehicles.”

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      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
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