Economy
1:18 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

GM will take Volt plant off-line for second time in 2012

In mid-September, General Motors will temporarily close the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that makes the Chevrolet Volt for about a month.

The break will allow the company to control plant inventory and prepare for production of the new 2014 Impala, said Chevy spokesman David Darovitz.

Darovitz told the Detroit Free Press the completely redesigned Impala is an important model for Chevy, and GM wants to take extra time preparing the factory to ensure a high-quality launch.

"...This may include making certain areas of the line more efficient, address space constraints for incoming materials, provide additional training and more," Darovitz said in the e-mail.

This is the second suspension of Volt production this year.  In March, Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reported that the plant halted production to give dealers time to sell the Volts they already had.

This time, GM denies the pause in production is due to slow Volt sales, reports the Freep.

GM sold 10,666 Volts so far this year, more than three times as many as last year

But the publication Automotive News says GM has 6,500 Volts in stock, enough to supply dealers for 84 days at the current sales rate. This is more than the preferred 60-day supply automakers aim for.

The move affects 1,350 workers at the factory on the Detroit-Hamtramck border. An unnamed source told the Freep leaders of the United Auto Workers told the plant's workers about the scheduled downtime last week.

-Elaine Ezekiel, Michigan Radio Newsroom