DETROIT (WWJ) – General Motors says it’s too early to tell when it may add a second shift at it’s Detroit-Hamtramck Plant, or how many new workers might be hired. That factory is currently home to the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, and two big cars.
The comment came in response to reports in the Detroit Free Press that a second shift — with up to 1,000 new workers — would begin training late this year, and start production early next year.
“Detroit Hamtramck has started some of the pre-work related to adding an additional shift at the plant,” said a General Motors statement.
”Volt volumes remain unchanged (10,000 this year, 45,000 next), but the plant wants to be in a position to bring on a shift as quickly as possible when we are asked to increase production to meet market demand.”
General Motors has publicly said that it would like to find ways to build more Volt’s. The vehicle has launched in small numbers now, and will not be sold in the entire country until the end of the year. GM will also make an Opel version called the Ampera.
Both vehicles will be able to run in pure electric mode for 25 to 50 miles, before a ”range extender”–an on board gasoline powered recharger–kicks in to keep the electricity flowing to the motor.
The Detroit-Hamtramck Plant, which is about thirty years old, is one of General Motors largest, with a lot of unused capacity. It also produces the Buick Lucerne and Cadillac DTS, and will soon be used for Chevy Malibu production.
Both the Lucerne and DTS are expected to go out of production soon. GM hasn’t talked much about other products that could go into the plant, which is currently operating on only one shift.
The GM statement also said very little about how a potential second shift might impact hiring at the facility.
“At this point in time, it is too early to tell how many employees would be required or when an additional shift will start — we are just doing some pre-planning to ensure we can respond quickly to market conditions. ”