General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) plans to invest a great deal more than it has in the past to drive sales of its failed Chevy Volt. GM has for years tried to jump-start one of the earliest hybrid cars. However, Volt sales have been smothered by competition.
GM CEO Mary Barra said as she announced the creation of new manufacturing facilities and commented that the manufacturer will add $300 million in capital investments:
“We must provide the breakthrough technology that our customers want,” said Barra. “Our investments in the Chevy Volt and Michigan signify our commitment to lead the industry in technology and innovation.”
GM’s public relations arm also commented about Volt financial commitments:
Since 2009, GM has announced more than $11 billion in investments in the United States, with almost half of that investment committed to Michigan.
In 2008, GM announced it would build the Volt. Since then, it has faced a growing array of competition. Also, problems with its production have hurt its image. In 2012, alleged engine fires originating from the Volt battery caused GM more bad PR, although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found the danger was negligible.
The major competitors of the Volt are made by other industry giants. These include cars from every major manufacturer. Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) has also triggered a slew of all-electric vehicles to keep it from dominating the market.
Volt sales have been lackluster. In September sales dropped 21% to 1,394. For the first nine months, sales dropped 13% to 14,450.
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