General Motors announced today that the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant will close for four weeks beginning in June for planned upgrades to prepare for a significant increase in the rate of Volt production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.
For the next three months, Volt supply will be further restricted for retail deliveries. Coupled with already low dealer inventories and strong demand, the suspension of production will result in limited availability and reduced sales in June and July.
After the plant re-opens, it will begin exporting Volts and the Opel Ampera to Europe, and some Volts to China.
The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant will close next month for one month, This will of necessity curtail supply in order to ready the plant for large-scale production next year, as well as prepare for new Malibu production.
“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt Marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”
Although Volt availability will be restricted for the time being, ultimate Volt and Ampera production capacity will increase to 16,000 units this year, including exports and several hundred Volt demonstrator units sent to U.S. dealers. Of these, the U.S. gets 10,000, 2,500 are dealer demos, and 3,500 go to export markets.
Global production capacity in 2012 is expected to be 60,000 vehicles. Of these 45,000 are slated for the U.S., with the rest being divided to export markets.
Other publications may present this production increase as first-time news, however, GM-Volt.com reported these approximate numbers on April 6.
At the time, we wrote: “In fact, Chevrolet will sell more than 10,000 Volts for 2011. GM will actually build 15,000 Volts at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant this year. And while we’re on the topic, next year it won’t build 45,000, it will build 60,000.”
During the four-week shutdown next month, the plant will complete some pre-scheduled upgrades, including the installation of new tools, equipment and overhead conveyor systems throughout the facility.
This will prepare the plant for 2012 Volt and Ampera production and continue work on projects in preparation to launch the 2013 Malibu next year.
Production at the DHAM plant of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will begin next year. The 2013 Malibu launch will be led by the Eco model, expected to achieve 38 miles per gallon on the highway.
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