General Motors told the Associated Press Friday that the company will shut down production of the Volt from March 19 until April 23, idling 1,300 workers at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.
GM sold sold 1,023 Volts in February and 603 in January, and fell short of its goal of selling 10,000 Volts last year, the AP reported.
“Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand,” GM spokesman Chris Lee told USA Today.
Backed by a patriotic ad campaign, the Volt has become, in part, a symbol for General Motors, which in 2008 and 2009 ago received a total of $52.4 billion in bailout packages from the Bush and Obama administrations.
In January, GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee to discuss the issues surrounding the Volt.
“Although we loaded the Volt with state-of-the-art safety features,” Akerson explained, “we did not engineer the Volt to be a political punching bag. And that, sadly, is what it’s become.”
Chevrolet announced a low-emission version of the Chevrolet Volt last Thursday, designed to allow California drivers to drive solo in the state’s carpool lanes. That, however, came too late for early Volt buyers in the Golden State.
The low-emissions Volt carries the standard MSRP of $39,900, a Chevrolet spokesman said last week. The Volt also qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit for ultra-low emissions vehicles as well as a $1,500 California state tax rebate.
Additional reporting by Andrew Webster.
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