General Motors plans to cut the production of its plug-in hybrid – the Chevrolet Volt, if sales fall short of estimates in the first half of 2012, Reuters reports.
“It’s about matching supply and demand,” GM vice chairman Steve Girsky said at Detroit.
“I think it will be May or June before we really know if this thing has legs,” he added. “We are prepared for it if it does.”
It will take until mid-year before General Motors knows how much market demand exists for the Chevrolet Volt, the company’s extended-range electric car.
Chevrolet sold 7,671 Volts in 2011, falling short of its goal to sell 10,000. General Motors previously said it planned to produce 45,000 Volts this year, but on Tuesday Girsky declined to comment on a sales or production target.
The Volt is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because its batteries caught on fire in the weeks following three government crash tests. NHTSA announced a safety probe of the Volt Nov. 25.
The auto maker, worried that the investigation could hurt sales of its high-stakes car, is watching Volt sales closely as it pushes for a resolution to questions a from federal safety regulators about whether the battery could catch fire following a severe crash.