Well, I guess when you think you're going to sell 45,000 cars and you're on track to achieve about 25% of that, something's gotta give.
Something gave today, as Government/General Motors announced a temporary suspension of production of the company's centerpiece of environmental correctness, the Chevy Volt, and the layoff of 1,300 employees. Oh, and as readers will see in the Examiner.com excerpt, it's the (cough, cough) media's fault:
GM laying off 1300 due to low Volt sales
General Motors Co. announced the temporary suspension of Chevrolet Volt production and the layoffs of 1300 employees, as the company is cutting Volt manufacturing to meet lower-than-expected demand for the electric cars.
"Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand," GM spokesman Chris Lee said. The car company had hoped to sell 45,000 Chevy Volts in America this year, according to the Detrot News, but has only sold about 1,626 over the first two months of 2012.
"GM blamed the lack of sales in January on “exaggerated” media reports and the federal government's investigation into Volt batteries catching fire, which officially began in November and ended Jan. 21," the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News (actually, it's at MLive.com -- Ed.) reported.
Surely GM is not referring to the New York Times, which has been overly sympathetic to electric toys -- I mean, cars -- for years. Nick Bunkley's coverage describes the production halt as a "pause."
The company also can't complain about how the Associated Press has covered the Volt story over the years. Today, the related AP story takes artificial solace in GM's move, claiming that "Although the Volt has not been a big seller, the low-emission vehicle has improved GM's reputation for innovation." It also found someone to moan about how "the perception of a safety risk has hurt sales." Fires will tend to do that.
The fact is that the Volt has been cut tons of slack through the years, up to and including its you've-got-to-be-joking designation as Car of the Year by two different auto industry publications.
Perhaps -- only perhaps, because this modern-day Edsel might have flopped even in a great economy -- the biggest irony is that if the GM-owning, "green" car-loving Obama administration had successfully turned the economy around with the right policy prescriptions instead of massive, misguided, counterproductive "stimulus," its pet car company might be having better luck finding 45,000 drivers per year with lots of money ($41,000) and a whole lot less sense to buy the things.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.