DETROIT, March 2 (UPI) -- General Motors Co. has suspended production of the Chevrolet Volt for five weeks and temporarily laid off 1,300 workers in Detroit, the company said.
The announcement said the furloughed workers were told Thursday the Volt production operation will be suspended from March 19 through April 23.
GM spokesman said production has also been halted on the Volt's European counterpart, the Opel Ampera, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.
"Even with sales up in February over January, we are still seeking to align our production with demand," Lee said.
The company reported it has sold 1,626 Volts this year -- 1,023 in February. GM sold 7,671 Volts in 2011, short of its stated goal of 10,000, the newspaper said.
Plans previously had called for production of 60,000 Volts this year, 45,000 of them set aside for the U.S. market, the newspaper said.
GM had restarted production of the electrically powered car Feb. 23, following an extended Christmas break.
The company is 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, the Detroit News reported in February.