Automobile manufacturer General Motors has asked 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck that there would be temporary layoffs extending to 5 weeks with the company stopping the production of Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera.
GM spokesman Chris Lee said “Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand.”
Detractors point out that “seeking to align our production with demand,” is just another way of saying there is no demand for the much-hyped Chevrolet Volt.
People have also expressed surprise after the company receiving so much of taxpayer’s money in subsidies (almost $10,000) per car, it fails to be competitive and the reason, for which the subsidies were made in the first place, to keep industry and jobs afloat, stands defeated.
The company spokesman said that employees have been informed that production would be put on hold from March 19 onwards and were expected to resume on April 23.
In spite of GM assuring that it would improve the structure and battery-coolant system of the Volt sedan, consumers remain unconvinced about the car’s stability and reports of the car catching fire by itself or after crashes.
The incidents were investigated by the Congress and GM CEO Dan Akerson testified before a congressional hearing in January on the matter. Akerson told the Congress that, “We did not design the Volt to become a political punching bag and that’s what it’s become.”
Both GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spent several weeks last fall in an effort to explain why two Volts with punctured batteries caught fire by themselves after remaining idle for over a week.
However, sales do seem to be picking up as a result of the efforts of both GM and interested parties. Out of 1626 Volts sold during the first two months of this year, more than a 1000 sold after the CEO of GM deposed at the Congressional hearing.
This, however, does not put off detractors from pointing out that layoffs are occurring at the same time as the company posting record profits.
GM Makes 1300 Temporary Layoffs in Detroit by Harrison Barnes