The European Volt (Opel Volt perhaps?) will be built in the UK at the Ellesmere Port plant, home of the current Vauxhall Astra, and not imported from the Hamtramck plant in the U.S.
GM sources say that the project has caught the interest of UK business secretary, Lord Mandelson and that he is interested in seeing the plug-in electric car manufactured locally in the UK.
GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster said,
“We would look at assembling Volt at Ellesmere Port if super-credits were included in the EU CO2 legislation - because this would encourage automakers to provide more ultra-low CO2 vehicles earlier and in greater volume. While the CO2 policy is close to finalisation, we will wait to see the final policy before making any further decisions."
It is expected that within the next couple months GM will release a business plan before continuing talks with the UK government.
This possible manufacturing split will help GM save some cash in the long run but will dramatically cut production numbers from its Hamtramck plant in Michigan. Will the cut costs translate to a lower price of entry for potential buyers of the Volt? We’ll have to wait and see.