Chevrolet Pulls the Plug on the Volt Amid Plant Closures and Mass Layoffs
GM will discontinue its first plug-in hybrid by March and shut down its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant shortly thereafter.
General Motors announced on Monday that it would begin a company-wide restructuring of its manufacturing efforts, including cutting costs by killing low-volume models and slashing jobs. One particular car that will be affected is none other than the Chevy Volt.
Despite the Volt being one of the first plug-in hybrids sold in the United States, GM is choosing to end its production during this latest round of cost-cutting measures. A GM spokesperson has confirmed to The Drive that Volt production has a hard end-date of March 1, 2019 and did not comment on the possibility of the Volt returning at a retooled or flex-line production facility in the future.
Likely, this decision was made due to slumping sales of the Volt and a heightened interest in fully-electric cars, such as its younger brother, the Bolt. GM has previously iterated its intentions to move towards a more electrified future, meaning that a cut to a low-performing hybrid model wouldn't be unheard of, especially one that has been previously rumored to be on the chopping block.
In a statement, GM said that it would be closing the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where models such as the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt will be affected.
"In the past four years, GM has refocused capital and resources to support the growth of its crossovers, SUVs and trucks, adding shifts and investing $6.6 billion in U.S. plants that have created or maintained 17,600 jobs," GM said in a statement regarding plant closures. "With changing customer preferences in the U.S. and in response to market-related volume declines in cars, future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year."
The decision to remove focus from smaller automobiles and shift towards trucks and SUVs closely follow a plan ushered by Ford earlier this year to kill off passenger cars. GM confirmed that its U.S. customer preference has shifted in the same direction and has added to the decision to close eight production facilities across the globe.