GM's Chevy Volt Is a "Go" -- Production Vehicle, in Showrooms in 2010
- 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
By BILL VLASIC
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., Detroits 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
industrys 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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