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GM to invest $450 million in developing next-gen Chevrolet Volt

Published by on Apr 24, 2014 in News Leave a comment

Chevrolet Volt 2015

The Chevrolet Volt, General Motors’ current plug-in hybrid, will be getting a new generation next year, with production scheduled to start in late 2015. The American giant is really serious about this model and that’s why they’re investing big money in the factories that will build the Volt and its European brother, the Opel Ampera. The total investment is estimated at around $450 million, with $384 million going to the Hamtrack Assembly plant in Detroit and $65 million to the Brownstown Battery Assembly facility in Wayne County, Michigan. The purpose of this massive investment is to support the development of future technologies that will attract customers and also continues the efforts made by GM in the last five years (a total of more than $1.3 billon have been invested so far in the Detroit-Hamtrack facility). Also, the Brownstown factory becomes the first large facility to mass produce lithium-ion battery owned by a large carmaker.

The Hamtrack plant in Detroit will build the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac ELR and the Opel Ampera, each one getting a new generation in 2015. The new models will get a new generation of more efficient lithium-ion batteries developed by General Motors, plus a set of new features that will hopefully make the models a lot more attractive. So far, the Chevrolet Volt and its siblings have failed to achieve the sales numbers planned at the Renaissance Center, with 23,094 units sold in the United States in 2013. However, the Volt outsold its 100% electric rival, the Nissan Leaf (22,610 units), while Tesla Model S came in third with around 18,000 units sold.

Earlier this month, Reuters quoted several sources inside a GM supplier which unveiled that a more affordable version of the Chevrolet Volt will also be available starting with the next generation. This version will have less featured and a reduced range. Considering the second-gen Volt is expected to be priced around $35,000 including tax credit, the lower-entry version will probably start at around $30,000. General Motors officials declined to comment on these rumors but said that the Volt’s “recipe” won’t be modified.

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