Dead: Chevrolet Volt (Updated)

Photo: GM
Photo: GM

GM has been going through a tight restructuring lately, selling off brands, offering buyouts to workers, and shutting down plants. One of the next plants that could see a stop in vehicle production, Reuters reports, is Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, which builds the Chevrolet Volt—a plug-in hybrid that was once considered GM’s savior.

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The Reuters story cites anonymous sources, saying GM plans to halt production in a number of plants that produce slow-selling cars, writing:

GM plans to halt production at three assembly plants in Canada and in Ohio and Michigan in the United States by not allocating future new products, putting the future of those plants in doubt, the sources added.

The plants - Lordstown Assembly in Ohio, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly and Oshawa Assembly - all build slow-selling cars.

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This wouldn’t be all too surprising, considering GM’s rivals at Ford and Fiat Chrysler have severely reduced car production in light of the ongoing SUV and truck craze.

It’s worth noting that the Detroit-Hamtramck plant also builds the Chevy Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac CT6, though Reuters’ David Shepardson specifically points out the Volt in the tweet below, calling the production halt the “End of an era.”

Reuters writes that, according to sources, Mary Barra “made calls early on Monday to disclose the plans,” and that the company will discuss the topic with the UAW next year.

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Jalopnik and Reuters have reached out to GM to learn more, but we have not heard back. Reuters says its expects GM to make an announcement on the matter soon.

Update (Nov. 26, 2018 10:50 A.M. ET): It is official. A GM spokesperson told Jalopnik over the phone: “We are ending production of the Volt March 1, 2019.” When asked whether the Volt will return at some point, the representative said she could not comment on future products.

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In addition, GM just put out a press release saying production will stop next year at the Hamtramck plant, as well as at a four other assembly locations.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

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This is the Chevy Volt Chassis:

It’s basically an evolution of the EV1 chassis... right down to having large batteries located in a central tunnel.

This is what a modern BEV chassis like the one from the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 looks like:

If GM is going to invest in BEVs and BEV platforms, it will be of a design more in line with the Bolt. The Volt was/is great... but the design of the platform with that central battery tunnel is not the future.

Though I hope they come out with a new Volt at some point as a BEV that is larger than the Bolt.