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GM says Volt is back on line

Feb. 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM

DETROIT, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- General Motors said it has restarted production of the electrically powered Chevy Volt after an extended Christmas break.

Sales of the extended-range Volt in 2011 came in under GM's target of 10,000 with only 7,700 sold, The Detroit News reported Thursday.

Production was closed down for the holiday season and remained shuttered until this month. GM is now producing the car with diminished expectations.

GM said production of the Volt will "meet demand" in 2012. The company had previously announced a production target of 45,000. But that has been shelved, the News said.

The Volt's first year on the market was tripped up by gas prices, which were high, on average, for the year, but failed to peak, as a national average, above $4 per gallon.

The national average price of gasoline tailed off in 2011 after a reaching $3.95 per gallon. In addition, the Volt was hampered by news reports that said the car presented a fire hazard after a crash.

No recall was issued after a regulatory investigation and GM voluntarily added new sensors and reinforced the battery pack with steel, the News said.

GM is now gearing up production for California, where the car qualifies for a $1,500 state rebate and has been granted access to the carpool lanes on state highways even with just one occupant in the car.

"We're going to be targeting California pretty aggressively," said GM spokesman Rob Peterson.

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