General Motors Co. will build 10,000 Chevrolet Volts by the end of 2011 and 30,000 more in 2012, said Tony DiSalle, marketing director for the Volt.
The Volt plug-in electric vehicle, expected to be launched in October or November, will initially go on sale in the United States in Austin, Texas, and New York City, CEO Ed Whitacre said Thursday in Austin. That's in addition to Michigan, California and Washington, D.C., which GM had announced previously. GM also said it will expand its launch markets early in 2011 to include the rest of Texas and New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
GM will add more markets halfway through 2011, DiSalle said today during a Web chat. GM will sell the Volt in all 50 states within 12 to 18 months of launch, he said. The Volt also will enter Canada in 2011.
GM is looking to the Volt to help improve its image. The first generation is not expected to make a profit, although GM has not released pricing.
To sell the Volt, dealers will have to agree to keep a Volt demo, install a couple of 240-volt charging units at their stores, buy special tools and certify Volt specialists on their sales and service staff, DiSalle said. Chevrolet also expects to certify a nationwide service network of dealers outside initial launch markets, he said.
He declined to give details about how many dealers will get the Volt. GM has begun the process of inviting dealers to become certified to sell or service the Volt, and it will assign launch-market allocations soon.
DiSalle acknowledged that GM expects to have more interested buyers than available Volts during the first model year. But he said GM will continue to advertise the Volt despite the anticipated shortages.
DiSalle said some Volt TV, print and Web advertising started today in New York and Texas.