Increased Demand for Volt Makes GM Start Production Early image

The Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant starts production a week early this month since sales of General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt are picking up.

On April 16th GM will resume Volt production after a four-week shutdown, instead of five weeks, but it would halt Volt production for three weeks in July, instead of the normal two weeks.

“Employees are being called back one week earlier than previously announced due to increased Volt sales since January and the need to meet demand in our strong markets, including California,” GM said in a statement.

In March Volt sold 2,289 units, up 50% from the previous high in December, and Sales of the extended-range plug-in electric vehicle disappointed in early months but are now gaining steam. The company expects Volt sales to reach at least 3,000 a month soon.

The price for the Volt starts at about $40,000 and analysts think that the car’s high price could remain a barrier as buyers choose fuel-efficient alternatives like the compact Chevrolet Cruze, which is about half the Volt’s price. In 2011, electric vehicles amounted to just one-tenth of 1% of total vehicle sales.