GM shuts down its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant for five weeks from March 19th-April 23rd, match Chevrolet Volt supply to demand.

At the end of February dealers had around 6, 300 units nationally, which averages to a 154 day supply at current sales rates. In January and February 2012 GM sold 1,626 Volts in the U.S., where it planned to sell 45,000 and make 60,000 units. Last year, it sold 7,671 Volts, missing a target of 10,000 deliveries.

“We saw inventory building and we wanted to get it into line,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson said. “You’ve got to accept that there is some intelligence behind our decisions.”

GM’s contention is that the Volt has been politically attacked, and its executives have been saying the company has to “relaunch” it following a firestorm of negative press, while at the same time being forthright about the Volt’s sales not being what it would like them to be. The company began fighting back through advertisements on Fox News network and elsewhere, and a blog that rebuts other critics of its plug-in vehicle.

The company declared that the most serious allegations against the Volt that its battery might “blow up” or implicitly roast its occupants alive were grossly exaggerated. No Volt has caught fire on the road to date, although in 2010 over 200,000 fires involving conventional internal combustion vehicles were reported.


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