DETROIT, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker General Motors Co. said it would hire 1,000 engineers to ramp up its technical prowess as the first for-sale Volt rolled off the assembly line.
GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson announced the decision meant to cover the company's white-collar hiring in Michigan for the next two years after stepping out of GM's first production Volt, a battery-powered vehicle with a small gas engine that recharges the battery as it goes.
"We hope to cultivate the next generation of engineers who will build upon the Volt's innovative technologies," said Mark Reuss, GM's North America vice president.
"Every aspect of the Volt -- from its aerodynamic shape to its battery chemistry -- is a testament to the importance of math and sciences."
Backing up his remarks, GM said it would auction the first Volt and donate the proceeds to Detroit's public school system.
The car, GM's second venture into alternative energy vehicles, is expected to have a sticker price of $41,000.
Akerson said the Volt was priced "close to cost," which makes it unlikely to be a big money-maker for the company. But Reuss said the Volt was an "investment in the future of the company and we will ride cost down on the technology."
GM's first alternative-powered car, the EV1 was discontinued after three years with GM losing about $1 billion on the vehicle.