General Motors has decided to temporarily halt production of its premier electric plug-in car in an effort to deal with lagging sales.
The Volt, ironically named the “best European car of the year,” fell nearly 2,500 cars below its projected sale of 10,000 last year, and 2012 sales have been slow.
The car has been plagued by bad publicity following a highly publicized fire last November that resulted in a federal investigation. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined the car was not at any increased risk of fire, that stigma seems to live on.
The Volt has also found itself embroiled in politics, as President Obama recently said he’d buy one when he gets out of office, and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich poked fun at the “green car” saying you can’t fit it with a gun rack. Republican candidates also point out that the Volt’s very existence is still a product of an auto industry bailout with which they disagreed.
- Tim Higgins, automotive correspondent for Bloomberg News.