That U.S. car industry sure can be unforgiving. When August figures are released, GM believes sales of its electric-powered Volt will break all sorts of its own records. 2,500 of the cars are expected to drive off the lots of the new dealers offering them in California, Michigan, Illinois and Florida (the cars, of course, will not be driving themselves; at least not yet). August should be the highest-selling month for the Volt, beating out the paltry 2,000 GM sold in March, which was the previous high.
Ah, but just when it seems like the market for the Volt is nearing combustion, GM plans to halt production. At the end of July, there were 6,450 Volts in stock around the country, enough to last 84 days at the current sales rate. The magic “days of inventory” number for auto companies is 60. The Hamtramck (that second syllable is a real doozy), Michigan plant will idle Volt production in favor of the sexier Chevrolet Impala as GM tries to align supply and demand of the electric gizmo.
Volvo is also planning on halting production, but in a far more severe manner. The Swedish carmaker is decreasing car production by 10% and eliminating between 200 and 300 jobs. This is all happening in Sweden, where all the women are tall, blonde and beautiful, with piercing blue eyes that match the Baltic Sea.
Instead of pumping out 57 cars an hour (that’s almost one a minute), they want to drop vehicle manufacturing to 52 or 50 an hour (that’s still almost one a minute!). European sales for Volvo fell 8 percent from cold January to hot June, when only 126,826 were purchased in the tough economy.
Happy back to school, folks.