“This isn’t just the car we wanted to build … it’s the car America had to build.”
General Motors Co. is blaming “exaggerated” media reports and the federal government’s investigation into Chevrolet Volt batteries catching fire for the vehicle’s lackluster sales in January.
U.S sales of the extended-range vehicle last month were their worst since August 2011, when it remained in short supply due to GM retooling its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant in June.
“Sales in January were clearly impacted by the safety investigation and the exaggerated negative coverage,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations, during a conference today to discuss GM’s 6 percent U.S. sales decrease from January 2011 to last month.
GM sold 603 Volts last month – above its 321 units in January 2011, but about half the amount for each of the last three months in 2011.
The Detroit-based automaker sold 76,671 Volts in 2011, well below GM CEO and chairman Dan Akerson’s announced target of 10,000. Last month, Akerson also said the automaker will most likely back down from its sales goal of 45,000 Volts in 2012…