The Chevrolet Volt was heralded as a technological marvel when it arrived on the scene for the 2011 model year. It promised a more efficient future with the combination of an electric motor and reserve gasoline engine and the possibility of 98 MPGe.
Fast forward to 2017, and the Chevrolet Volt hasn’t become the electric car savior General Motors envisioned at the height of the U.S. recession and soaring gasoline prices. Gas is cheap and the economy is relatively stable. According to a new report from Reuters, the combination of these market factors and a consumer shift to crossovers and SUVs may kill the Chevrolet Volt.
GM is said to be reviewing the future of numerous passenger car nameplates and the Volt’s future is in limbo, according to sources familiar with the matter. If the product plans prove true, the Chevrolet Volt will expire after 2020 and be replaced with a plug-in hybrid crossover vehicle.
The Volt’s future also rests with the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, which is seriously underused at the moment. The facility exclusively builds sedans in an unfriendly market towards the body style. The Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac CT6, Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala all come from the Detroit-Hamtramck’s production lines.
The United Auto Workers union is also in talks with GM about future sedan production as the market for the body type continues to decline and inventories of cars swell. Continued cuts to production risk additional UAW jobs.
“We are tracking it (and) we are addressing it,” UAW President Dennis Williams said.