On Friday, General Motors announced that it will temporarily suspend production of the Chevy Volt and temporarily lay off 1,300 workers associated with the electric car.Three days prior to GM’s decision to halt production of the Volt, President Barack Obama spoke in Detroit to a cheering crowd at a United Auto Workers union event and declared that after his second term is finished in five years, he, too, will be buying a Chevy Volt:
“Five years from now when I’m not president anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself,” Obama promised 1,600 auto workers at a United Auto Workers union event in Detroit on Tuesday.The Chevy Volt, which has become a political metaphor for Mr. Obama’s failed green energy programs, continues to suffer lackluster sales. GM hoped to sell 45,000 Chevy Volts in 2012. So far, the company has sold just 1,626. GM’s public relations team remains in damage control mode:
“We did not develop the Chevy Volt to be a political punching bag,” General Motors CEO Daniel Akerson testified before Congress in the same January hearing. “We engineered the Volt to be a technological wonder.”
GM also blames the media for the Volt’s sluggish sales:
“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.”
Production of GM’s fledgling electric car is slated to resume in five weeks.