Lutz: Volt alone won’t save General Motors

Weighing over 400 pounds, the Volt battery will be key to its success

General Motors Corp. vice chairman Bob Lutz said the company expected volumes of around 60,000 to 70,000 Chevrolet Volt dual-mode hybrid vehicles — the battery powered vehicle that will be able to get 40 miles on battery power alone.

"The Volt singlehandedly won't save GM because the volume is way too low for that. It's going to be — first couple of years you know 60,000, 70,000 out of a total GM production of 8 so 9 million so we better get the rest of the product line sorted out too, which I believe we have done," Lutz said.

Lutz was asked how GM could take on an expensive new "core product" — assembling batteries. The Treasury Department has agreed to loan GM up to $13.4 billion.

"The answer is right now we can't but we're doing it anyway," Lutz said.

LG Chem might have to build a second plant to expand production.

GM announced plans to build a plant to produce battery packs and assemble batteries (thought the chemical cells will be produced by LG Chem in South Korea). The plant is to be operational by the end of June. It's likely to be in an existing GM facility.

"We've have so many empty buildings," Lutz said.

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