The GM Chevy Volt production line has been shutdown twice now in less than two years for poor sales. The real math about the Volt sales breaks down into mostly fleet sales to rental dealers, corporate fleets (as in GE) … and more importantly to government agencies from local, state and federal levels with taxpayer money in order to boost the car’s sales. The math also shows the outrageous disparity between the cost of producing just one Volt verses the government rebates, tax credits, discounts, and the expensive cost to buy one of these vehicles. The car is cost-prohibitive to the average consumer, and the fact that more and more coal-fired power plants are closing across the country (especially in the grid-challenged east) make charging these things unrealistic in the necessarily skyrocketing energy bills for Americans.
Two years ago, President Obama visited the LG Chem battery plant in Holland, Michigan. He then hailed the plant, saying, “You are leading the way in showing how manufacturing jobs are coming right back here to the United States of America.”
But today, those LG Chem jobs Obama claimed were “coming back” are seeing intermittent layoffs instead of growth.
In 2010, the plant, which supplies batteries for the Chevy Volt, received $151 million in tax money from the U.S. Department of Energy, but it has been good money after bad.
Today, $133 million of that $151 million has been spent, but since April, the company’s 200 workers have been on “rolling furloughs” because the electric vehicle market has failed to blossom as promised by many.
In 2010, the plant was projected to create 443 new jobs within five years. Those projections have been shelved as the company says it can’t predict when the furloughs will stop for its current employees.
A second Chevy Volt battery plant in Michigan has also been forced to implement layoffs due to the failure of the electric car market in the U.S.
Lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems was awarded $249 million in federal government tax dollars but ended up laying off employees despite the government’s cash infusion. The plant might have closed entirely if China hadn’t invested an additional $465 million in the plant. Even still, its future is murky.
Just needs more cowbell, I think…