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GM stops Chevy Volt production to trim inventory

Fri, 02 Mar 2012

General Motors will idle the Detroit-area assembly plant that builds the Chevrolet Volt for more than a month to curb rising inventories of the plug-in hybrid.

On March 1, GM told 1,300 workers at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan that it will shut down production for five weeks, starting the week of March 19.

GM plans to resume production on April 23, spokesman Chris Lee said.

"We need to maintain the right inventory levels and continue to meet demand," Lee said.

At the end of February, GM's Volt inventory stood at 6,300 units, enough to last 154 days at current sales rates.

Volt sales rebounded in February to 1,023 units. January's sales of 603 units marked a five-month low following a federal investigation into battery fires in the Volt.

Federal regulators closed the probe in January after determining the Volt was safe.

The plan to suspend Volt output was reported Friday by The Detroit Free Press.

Production of the redesigned Chevy Malibu is slated to start at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant later this year, once new engines become available. For now, the Volt and its sister car, the Opel Ampera, are the only vehicles assembled there.

By Mike Colias- Automotive News