By the end of 2011, General Motors Co. will build 10,000 Chevrolet Volts and by 2012, it will build 30,000 more, according to Tony DiSalle, marketing director for the Volt.
CEO Ed Whitacre told reporters in Austin that the Volt plug-in electric vehicle, which will be launched in October or November, will initially go on sale in Austin, Texas, and New York City. This is in addition to Michigan, California and Washington, D.C., which were earlier announced by GM.
The carmaker is expected to expand its launch markets early in 2011 to the rest of Texas and New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. During a Web chat, DiSalle said that halfway through 2011, GM will add more markets. Within 12 to 18 months of launching, GM will sell the Volt in all 50 states. The Volt will also enter Canada in 2011.
GM is hopeful that the Volt will improve its image. DiSalle added that GM has not revealed the pricing details but that the first generation is not expected to make a profit anyway.
In selling the Volt, dealers will have to agree to keep a Volt demo, install two 240-volt charging units at their stores, buy special tools and certify Volt specialists on their sales and service staff.
He said that Chevrolet also anticipates certifying a nationwide service network of dealers outside initial launch markets. No details were provided on how many dealers will get the Volt. GM has started the process of inviting dealers to become certified to sell or service the Volt, and pretty soon, it will assign launch-market allocations. [via autonews]