DETROIT -- The technology in the Chevrolet Volt will show up in a minivan version “in the next few years,” General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson said today at the 2011 Automotive News World Congress.
He also said that by the second generation of the Volt, GM will “focus on cost reduction” of the Volt's technology.
Speaking to reporters following his speech, Akerson also said a plug-in version of the Cadillac SRX is likely within a few years.
GM officials previously had said they intend to extend the Volt's technology to other vehicles, but declined to identify which ones.
Akerson also said he expects Volt production to top 25,000 units this year. That's up from an original estimate of 10,000, and from a 20,000-unit forecast Akerson had given recently.
“We have been pleased and a bit surprised with the initial demands, initial orders for Volts,” Akerson said. “We don't want to miss the opportunity.”
Akerson also said GM is “looking at acceleration” of other vehicle programs to make up ground lost during the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy. He declined to specify which projects are being fast-tracked.
“The facts are, with the bankruptcy we lost roughly a year in terms of development,” Akerson said. “That's why ‘12 and ‘13 are more pivotal for us here in the United States.”
On Monday, GM's North American president, Mark Reuss, said the company is fast-tracking the development of some truck programs, but he wouldn't specify which ones or say how much the pace has changed.
GM delayed the redesign of its full-sized Chevy and GMC pickups because of the bankruptcy. The redesigned trucks are expected in 2013.
More concentrated sales overseas
Akerson said GM's sales this year will be “more heavily concentrated” in growth markets overseas, because product launches in North America still are weighed down from the lingering effects of bankruptcy.
In his remarks to reporters, Akerson said the Volt would be followed by minivan and hatchback vehicles using the same technology, but the Volt itself is a hatchback. A GM spokesman could not immediately clarify the meaning of Akerson's remarks.
Akerson also said he expects at least 10 percent of GM cars and trucks to be hybrids, plug-in hybrids or electrics within “10 or 15 years.” He said he would like at least one electric or plug-in hybrid in the lineuup for each of GM's four brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.