GM Damage Control: Chevy Volt is Full Speed Ahead

In a late night blog post, John Lauckner, GM’s Vice President of Global Program Management, has attempted to quash some of the rumors floating around the blogosphere that the Volt is delayed or even dead.

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We all know how fast things can spread online. One blog picks up a story, then every other blog under the sun races to post their take on the story in the hopes of beating everybody else to the punch. This was certainly the case this week after GM announced they were delaying construction on the new plant in Flint, MI, devoted to building the Volt engine.

Given GM’s recent troubles and flaccid cash flow, it doesn’t seem so off-base to imagine that a construction delay of the plant that will supply the Volt’s engine spells doom for the Volt itself — or at the very minimum means the Volt will miss its target release date of late 2010. On the other hand, the Volt really is the only thing GM’s got going for it right now, so it would seem supremely stupid to shut ‘er down.

Lauckner says the Volt remains perhaps the highest priority program within GM. As a showing of good faith that GM remains committed to bringing the Volt to market, Lauckner parades a spat of recent milestones including the appearance of Generation II prototypes in Washington, D.C., the production of the last of the 33 vehicles in the current hardware testing stage, and the completion of the engineering for the final prototypes, which will begin testing in July 2009.

As Lauckner says, “It is true that, due to our current liquidity situation among other things, we have temporarily suspended some construction activities at the new engine plant in Flint. This has no impact on our production timing for the Volt or the Chevy Cruze. Moreover, our global manufacturing process is flexible enough to construct this plant within a year, and the planning activities that require less cash upfront are continuing in Flint.”

As is so often the case, only time will tell if anybody ever gets to drive a Volt, but, regardless of GM’s massive damage control, at this point I remain a devout skeptic.

Image Credit: GM

Source: GM Fastlane

 

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.