General Motors will halt production of the 2015 Chevrolet Volt at the end of May to reduce U.S. stockpiles and to prepare to start building a redesigned version of the plug-in hybrid late this summer.
The suspension in production is a result of a “multitude of factors,” such as lower-than-expected sales, factory renovations and engineering changes, GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said.
U.S. sales of the Volt sank 19 percent to 18,805 units in 2014. In the first three months of this year, deliveries dropped 48 percent to 1,874 units.
Chevrolet dealers had 5,400 Volts on hand on April 1, or enough to last 211 days at the car’s current sale pace, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
The Wall Street Journal reported the production change earlier.
GM builds the Volt at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. The factory is expected to continue producing the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac ELR and Opel Ampera while Volt output goes on hiatus. Production of the Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan is slated to begin at the plant later this year after Volt output resumes.
Chevrolet introduced the redesigned, second-generation Volt at the Detroit auto show in January. The 2016 model has a new 1.5-liter engine, compared with a 1.4- liter engine in the first-generation model.
The next Volt will also have a larger but more powerful gasoline engine and a smaller but more powerful battery pack with an electric driving range of 50 miles on the initial charge, up from 38 on the 2015 model.
GM wants to offer two 2016 Volt options: a standard edition and a low-cost edition, Reuters reported in April 2014.
The price of the standard Volt will be comparable to the current model’s price tag, just under $35,000. It will have a range of up to 380 miles.
The lower-cost edition would be priced from just over $30,000 and would likely generate a range of less than 300 miles.