Normally when an auto plant shuts its doors, it isn’t good news. But the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant will close for four weeks in June for upgrades designed to handle an increase in the Chevy Volt’s production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevy Malibu (see the figure).
After these upgrades, the plant will produce 16,000 Volts including hundreds of demonstration units sent to dealers and export versions such as the Opel Ampera. GM anticipates 2012 production capacity to total 60,000 vehicles with 45,000 delivered in the United States.
The shutdown will involve pre-scheduled upgrades including the installation of new tools, equipment, and overhead conveyor systems throughout the facility. GM says that the shutdown will affect the Volt’s availability over the next three months but is optimistic about production for the rest of the year.
“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” says Christi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt Marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”