Just the other day, we heard that General Motors might extend its traditional two-week summer shutdown to three weeks for the Chevrolet Volt. But, after record Volt sales last month, we wonder how the calendar looks in Hamtramck now. We wonder because we are hearing reports that the current shutdown – originally scheduled to run for five weeks, from March 19 to April 23 – will be shortened by a week. GM originally decided on the hold to reduce supply that had grown too large because of soft demand.
Don LaForest, the chairman of the United Auto Workers bargaining committee at the Hamtramck plant where the Volt is made, told Talking Points Memo that GM is "adding a week of production back in." The Detroit News reports that GM President of North America Mark Reuss said the same thing Wednesday during the New York Auto Show. Reuss said, "We're doing it because we sold a lot."
Increasing sales numbers (GM sold 2,289 Volts in March – well over double February's 1,023-unit total) come at a time when some of the right-wing attacks on the plug-in hybrid appear to have calmed down. LaForest told TPM that his union workers have been confused about these criticisms. "I don't think Newt or Mitt have said a single negative thing about the Nissan Leaf," he said. "They're attacking our car to get at the President. But our car is going to change the way America does business. It's a breath of fresh air."