GM to idle Volt plant one month to increase production capacity

With long-term goals in mind, GM says it will be idling its Volt-producing plant for one month during the peak of summer in order to overhaul the plant for 2012 production goals.

Compared to volume models, Chevrolet's much-touted Volt is hardly a sales king, but the car is moving slightly ahead of initial targets even before expected peak oil prices hit this summer.

While one would think the last thing GM would want to do is stop production of its most fuel efficient car going into peak gas price months, the automaker must do so in order to prepare for a substantial boost in production capability to hit revised sales goals for 2012, according to Bloomberg. To do this, GM will close the Detroit-Hamtramck plant for one full month beginning in early June.

While down, GM will be adding new tooling, conveyor belts and upgrading various equipment in order to hit the 33 percent hike in expected production from 45,000 to 60,000 Volt vehicles in 2012. While the boost to 60,000 is sizable, earlier comments by the automaker's CEO, Dan Akerson, suggest desires to boost production in 2012 as high as 120,000.

For now, however, it seems GM will only have the production capability of producing 60,000 Volts in 2012, as the Detroit-Hamtramck plant is also responsible for producing the Voltec-based Opel Ampera for Europe, as well as the Chevrolet Malibu starting in 2012.

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