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GM Invests $336M In Detroit-Hamtramck Plant To Build Chevrolet Volt

General Motors will invest $336 million in the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to begin production of the Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle in 2010. This brings GM’s combined Volt-related investments in Michigan to $700 million, covering eight facilities.

Detroit-Hamtramck will be the final assembly location for the Volt, using tooling from Grand Blanc, lithium-ion batteries from GM’s Brownstown Township battery pack manufacturing facility, camshafts and connecting rods from Bay City, and stampings and the Volt’s 1.4L engine-generator from Flint.

“We expect the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will be the first facility in the US owned by a major automaker to produce an electric car. It is the hub for the wheel that we began rolling in 2007 when the Volt debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Since then, the field of challengers and partners has grown significantly. This competition will expedite the development of electric vehicle technology and infrastructure.

—Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of global product planning

After the Volt’s debut in January 2007, other automakers announced six plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles later that year, followed by 19 introductions in 2008 and five more this year.

In addition to GM’s $700 million in Volt-related facility investments, there are the many suppliers, utility companies and organizations investing in Michigan and the US to support Volt production and electric vehicle development.

To reduce cost and maximize flexible manufacturing techniques, some equipment for Volt production is being reused from other GM facilities and installed in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant’s body shop. The Volt will be built on the existing assembly line at Detroit-Hamtramck. Assembly of Volt prototype vehicles will begin in the spring, with the start of regular production scheduled for late 2010.



Does anybody knows what will be their production capacity for the Volt?


Lutz spelled out GM’s plan to roll out the Volt gradually in limited selected US markets beginning with some in California. He admitted demand is likely to far outstrip supply initially.

He also publicly verified for the first time ever the actual production numbers GM is planning.

“In the first few months we will be producing 4000 to 5000 Volts,” he said. ” In the first full year we will make eight to ten thousand.”

“We are going to ramp it up slowly becasue it is all uncharted terrain for all of us once we start turning out (battery) packs in very high rates,” he said.

He also said full production capacity will be 50,000 to 60,000 Volts per year.


So, nearly 30 H/EV announcements after the commitment to VOLT. Not bad for an old dinosaur of a car company. And great news for Michigan and Detroit.

Mike Moore - hopefully will revisit Flint and areas to lend a hand to the rebirth of automaking in this economically blighted area. It is the stuff of good film making.


Sulleny: I don't envision the blighted areas ever disappearing unless the government systematically eminent domains the ghettos (mostly the "residential" areas), razes them & turns them into green space - permanently (the solution I favor the most). You're not going change decades of animalistic ghetto behavior. All this project will do is recreate some of the suburban commuter jobs that were lost before the crash. Most of the white collar workers & highly paid blue collar workers in the Detroit plants commute in from the suburbs anyway - I know I would. If you've ever been in and around the Detroit ghetto, you would understand...I've been there before.


If the Volt costs $37,500 with $7,500 coming from the government, will people but the car for $30,000 out of pocket? Will 50,000 people per year do that? If so, will that actually reduce our imported oil that much?

This is a response to the Prius 10 years too late. It is too heavy and too expensive and it is from GM. People liked the idea in January 2007, will people like it as much in June of 2011?


SJC: In the first year 8-10,000 are anticipated to be sold. GM's usual behavior (from what I've heard) is to beat up and slap around their suppliers ruthlessly on prices over time, so the prices will no doubt come down and the dealers can keep making money with their sales gimmicks (it is a CHEVY after all). I can't imagine that they don't have other super-secret models in the works that should also be cheaper - like a bare-bones two-door coupe. I think they're anticipating a chain reaction to take place & the whole market segment to snowball into something pretty big...but I think it's going to take years and years in this economy-I think they're waaaay too optimistic. It'll probably be the 3rd or 4th generation Volt with numerous models before there is a significant market. Remember there will also be a lot of competition with other players like Nissan...Toyota and Honda aren't going to sit idly by either.


The market will explode as soon as gas gets back to $4 a gallon. With the competition, though, there is no guarantee GM will get any more than the shrinking market share they have seen over the last decade.


JMartin: Gas is NOT going back to $4 a gallon for a long, long time. OPEC cut production a while back, the Brazilians are drilling like crazy off their coast in the Atlantic, and Iraq just issued a bunch of contracts to re-open their oil fields. If Ahmad in Iran decides to start a war in the middle east - I can see gas prices going up in that scenario.

I don't envision the blighted areas ever disappearing unless the government systematically eminent domains the ghettos (mostly the "residential" areas), razes them & turns them into green space - permanently (the solution I favor the most).
A Flint native has proposed to do exactly that.  I have tried to contact him to hook him up with Ze-Gen as a "green" way of handling the resulting demolition debris, but he never returned my e-mail.

50,000 people per year will NOT buy a Volt for $30,000 out of pocket. Batteries (and EVs) must get cheaper.

All the EVs sold since 2000 will probably not reduce our imported oil much, before 2015 - or later.

This is not a response to the Prius (that was too early to sell in quantities, but was great PR).

The Volt, and all EVs will not sell in the quantities we need until batteries become affordable THEN not until these batteries become available – but those 2 days seem to be getting closer.

With the competition, though, I agree, there is no guarantee and no reason to believe that GM will get any more than the shrinking market share they have seen over the last decade.


You all forgotten Europe's high fuel taxes which make fuel price double, low dollar rate which makes American made products affordable and twice bigger market than USA which was covered by expensive diesel automobiles. Europe's Opel Ampera must be profitable project.


I know I'm going to hate throwing my two cents in here, since I've seen these discussions about the "miraculous" Volt for years now, but you guys just need to ignore anything GM says or does from here on out. The Volt is a PR pitch and nothing else. It's been promised for years, hyped for years, and "going into production" for years. I guarantee, once late 2010 rolls around, they'll have another excuse for holding it back. You want a hybrid or electric with decent range? Go get Ford's Transit Connect, order in something from Smith Electric in England, or go to Toyota. I understand they have a nifty little hybrid that's proved quite popular...


ejj - You may be correct. Time will tell.

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