General Motors will halt production of its Volt plug-in hybrid for more than a month as low demand leads to excessively high inventory levels.

GM informed 1300 employees at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan on Thursday of the planned five-week production break that will run from March 19 to April 23.

At the end of February, GM’s Volt inventory rose to 6300 vehicles, enough to last more than 150 days at the current rate of sales.

GM sold just 603 Volts in January as a safety investigation into battery fires in the vehicle continued. Sales increased to 1023 units in February after officials ruled that the Volt’s electric components posed no increased fire risk.

A rebadged version of the Chevrolet will be sold down under as the Holden Volt from the last quarter of this year. The altered production will not impact delivery of cars to Australia.

The Cruze-sized Volt is expected to sell in small numbers in Australia initially due to its anticipated $60,000 starting price.

GM achieved just three quarters of its sales goal with the Volt last year. It sold 7671 units in the US, well below its target of 10,000 vehicles. It has since backed off its prediction that it will sell 60,000 Volts around the world in 2012.

GM officially calls the Volt an “extended range electric vehicle”. It employs a 1.4-litre petrol engine to power an electric drivetrain once the charge from the lithium-ion battery pack has reached a minimum level. The car can travel around 60-80km before the petrol engine kicks in to charge the battery pack, giving the Volt a range in excess of 500km.

Read more about the Holden Volt, and click here to watch a video on how the Volt works.

  • Leighh

    Well what did they expect? Another failure from GM …….the experts at cheap engineering jobs. 
    GM Australia engineers will have time to spare now as they wont have to decide where to put the Holden badge……..

  • somebody who knows nothing

    There are only so many inpractical Hybrid / Plug in vehicle spots available within Government departments, and once you have given cars to the first batch of arty farty actors they become a has been like the Prius did.. Now its the Hydrogen Honda that is teh darling of the Film set…
    Real people don’t buy these things..

    • Rick

      “they become a has been like the Prius did..”

      Considering the Prius sold over 20,000 cars in the US in February alone and has sold well over 1million in the US since its release, it’s hardly a “has been” as it continues to sell well.. Compare that to Australia’s great export success to the US, the Pontiac G8 (aka Commodore V8). That sold 30,000 cars in 2 YEARS – do real people drive Pontiacs and V8 Commodores ? What is a “real person” anyway ?

      You might not want to buy one, and I doubt that you are the target demographic, but these types of cars are here to stay …..

      • Ozedude

        You’re comparing Prius (supposedly a mass production vehicle-Japan) sales to a performance special vehicles product (ie: a limited production niche market-Australia)  ?  No wonder people are falling for the MM Global Warming BS …oh sorry…”climate change”.

        Not to worry, i’ve accounted for you in my CO2 production.

        • Sumpguard

          You’ve stopped breathing?

            I’m not a toyota fan but Rick is right in his comments on the Prius. They are certainly mostly going to fleets but even the new one has found private buyers up here in Cairns so I don’t think it is a has been.

              Not my cuppa tea however.

        • Rick

          And the Prius, as a hybrid is not a niche vehicle ? I thought that was “Somebody who knows nothing’s” whole argument – ie only “governments and arty farty actors” buy them……. If you’ve ever been to LA, San Francisco or New York, you’ll know that they are everywhere, being driven by all sorts of people.

          Let’s just say that as a niche vehicle the Prius has done, and continues to do, pretty well.

          And as per Sumpguard, the Prius is not my cuppa tea either.

          Seems like you and Somebody who knows nothing might be two of raving Lord Monkton’s greatest fans……

  • F1MotoGP

     U.S. plug-in electric sales for February 2012
    GM sold in February 1023 Volt compared to 478 Nissan Leaf.

    U.S. hybrid sales for February 2012
    Prius sold 20589, Camry Hybrid 3750 and 3rd Lexus CT200h

    • F1MotoGP

      Sorry missed Lexus figure: 1640

      • Gkm22

        In the size of the US motor industry those figures are bad, Why would you keep making them.

        • Dave S

          In terms of hybrids, not doing so well in sales. In terms of full electric cars. The Volt has double the sales of the Nissan.

          The Volt, is not meant to be a big seller, but a taste of the future.
          If people are going to go electric, there has to be a practical everyday car that can do this.

          • Noel

            “The Volt, is not meant to be a big seller” for this statement to be true there must be another huge shortcoming at GM.  If it’s not meant to be a big seller, why are they building too many?  Maybe marketing forgot to tell manufacturing the Volt’s not a meant to be a big seller! 

        • Patsy

          I disagree that 20,589 vehicles is a bad number even in the US. By my calculations, that is the equivalent of around 1300 Priuses being sold in Australia in one month. I reckon Toyota Aus would be pretty stoked with those numbers.

  • Tarquin, Hair Artiste

    This car will tank in Oz… High prices and only a 4 seater means a very limited market. When you factor in the cost of replacement batteries and inverters… Resale will also be poor. It makes more sense to buy an efficient petrol car given the total cost of ownership will be much lower.

  • ABCD

    What now for the GM’s electric car plan?

  • Golfschwein

    I had a big read-up on these and was very impressed. It’s the most impressive of its type, I think, and early adopters are..uh..adopting first.

    • Tarquin, Hair Artiste

      If GM sticks to developing the Volt it will eventually become more affordable and practical. The design is clever in that it can be adapted to replacing the petrol engine with a micro turbine and eventually a fuel cell. For now, this car is not for me, however it has potential.


    Obama said when he quits politics he will buy one as his personal vehicle. I guess if he loses the next elections, the will be able to get one dirt cheap now that it is out of production :)

    • Dennis

       Out of Production??? Out and Halt are completely differen’t words…

  • tomato paste

    Thank you for your opinion.I am totally agree with your view.I hold the same pointswith you.And thanks for your shareing again.And i think you will go with me.

  • Michael POLAND

    this logo looks pathetic

  • Tim

    Chevrolet vehicles should be sold in Australia with Chevrolet badges (that would more than halve the models Holden have)

  • Tim

    By that I mean under the Chevrolet nameplate.

  • Dennis

    The Volt is a expensive car in the US. That’s why it doesn’t sell well.

    There are only so many pro climate change fools that you can convince….

  • AndyGF

    This is what happens when companies believe too many of these surveys…

    They tell us that everyone these days sits around noshing tofu, cooked on our solar powered barbie, wearing our comi-hats, group chanting (avatar style) over how global warming is going to end life itself on planet earth.

    It reads like this;
    Jenkins: “young people today… newly released surveys reveal, like green cars more than any other”
    Boss: “good work jenkins, you will get a promotion for that… on your way out, ask my PA’s PA to fire up the Learjet, im going to go divert billions in Gov funding into green cars”
    Jenkins: “sir, the PA’s PA is off on OHS leave for licking too many of your christmas card evelopes, which happen to be higher up than green cars on my new survey *overconfident smuggness*”
    Boss: “good! I shall send two christmas cards each next year… what else is above green cars on your survey jenkins?”
    Jenkins: “ummm, stealing candy from siblings, and watching bananas on tv… but those two had stars next to them, they dont apply to the global green misdirection initiative”

  • Matthew Werner

    I take a certain amount of schadenfreude out of this as GM are (and Holden are going to) purposefully misrepresenting it as an electric car when it is a hybrid. Looks like Holden won’t have any shortage of stock anyway

  • James

    Seems it’s only a matter of time before GM finally collapses. The Government bailouts haven’t done them any favours- communism never built proper cars, only capitalism can (seen the Lada?). GM has become an absolute joke however I admit commodores are still pretty good. In comparison Ford (global, not Australia) has been significantly improving their product line up with very good quality, fuel efficient and affordable vehicles. It’s time the Aussie Government stopped handing out welfare checks for GM Holden and Ford Australia so they can stop producing barge sized commodores and taxi falcons. Perhaps try to keep cruze production here and try to attract focus and fiesta manufacturing over here. But the cruze is a crap car compared with the new focus- it has to improve fast. Ultimately though Australia simply isn’t competitive enough when it comes to manufacturing- the high dollar and EXTREMELY high wage costs are simply no good for the manufacturing sector. I think most (if not all) car manufacturing will eventually move out of Australia. It’s inevitable given no one is buying Aussie made cars- so what’s the point of making it here? Not even Japan and Germany manufacture a lot of cars there. Most of the toyotas, hondas, mercs, beemers, etc are actually made in Thailand, South Africa, etc. Why? Manufacturing products (that have such a small profit margin) is simply not possible in developed countries. Only reason the US in still building cars is that many areas of the US is actually equivalent to 3rd world countries (e.g. Detroit) and so workers don’t have to be paid much (experiences assembly workers get around $15/hr- c.f. about $35 in Aust).