President Obama recently said that he’d buy a Chevy Volt in five years, after he concludes his second term in the White House:
“[A]t GM’s Hamtramck plant in Detroit, where I got to get inside a brand new Chevy Volt fresh off the line—even though Secret Service wouldn’t let me drive it., Obama recently told the United Auto Workers union in Washington, D.C. “But I liked sitting in it. It was nice. I'll bet it drives real good. And five years from now when I’m not president anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself.”
But Obama might not get his wish. “General Motors has told 1,300 employees at its Detroit Hamtramck that they will be temporarily laid off for five weeks as the company halts production of the Chevrolet Volt and its European counterpart,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
Even more ironic: The very auto plant the president mentioned in the speech—Hamtramck plant in Detroit—is the one being downsized. “Around 1,300 workers at GM's Hamtramck, Mich., factory where the Volt is built will be out of work between March 19 and April 23, a spokesman said,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand,” a GM representative is quoted as saying.
The Free Press notes that GM’s sales of the Volt have been sorry:
Chevrolet sold 1,023 Volts in the U.S. in February and has sold 1,626 so far this year.
In 2011, Chevrolet sold 7,671 Volts, but fell short of its initial goal of 10,000.
GM had planned to expand production of its Volt plug-in hybrid to 60,000 this year, with 45,000 earmarked for the U.S.