GM: Chevy Volt still on track

To quell rumors over a delay with the 2011 Chevy Volt, GM product manager says the gas-electric car is still on schedule for production in late 2010.

General Motors high-profile Chevy Volt car program has not been compromised by the company's financial woes, according to a company vice president.

Jon Lauckner, GM's vice president global program management, on Thursday published an update on the Chevy Volt on a GM blog in an effort to dispel rumors and concerns that GM was pulling the plug on the gas-electric Chevy Volt.

"It is one of the highest, if not the highest, priority programs in the company and that hasn't changed, nor has the commitment of resources to fund it. In fact, with the successful completion of each development activity, we have more confidence than ever the Volt will start production as planned in late 2010," Lauckner wrote.

The update was posted on Thursday, one day after GM revealed that it has postponed construction of a new factory in Flint, Mich., that was slated to build an engine for the Volt and Chevrolet Cruz, another fuel-efficient car. Many people read that as a sign that the car itself would be postponed.

GM CEO Rick Wagoner earlier this month in front of a car that has the electric powertrain and battery pack of the Volt in a body of a Cruz. GM

"This has no impact on our production timing for the Volt or the Chevy Cruze. Moreover, our global manufacturing process is flexible enough to construct this plant within a year, and the planning activities that require less cash upfront are continuing in Flint," Lauckner said.

The Volt is being designed to run 40 miles on a charge and have a gas engine that acts as a generator to recharge the batteries for longer rides.

On Friday, the federal government announced an agreement to provide up to $17.4 billion in loans to bring GM and Chrysler to commercial "viability."

GM CEO Rick Wagoner held a press conference on Friday where he thanked President Bush and said that GM can meet the conditions of the loans.

In a statement following Bush's announcement, GM said it is "fully committed to leading in energy-saving vehicles and technologies."

 

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