GM to debut next version of slow-selling Volt hybrid in January

DETROIT Thu Aug 7, 2014 11:11am EDT

Two potential customers walk past a Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle and a gas-powered Chevrolet Cruze on display at the Suburban Chevrolet dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 22, 2011.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Two potential customers walk past a Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle and a gas-powered Chevrolet Cruze on display at the Suburban Chevrolet dealership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 22, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) said Thursday it will show the next-generation of its slow-selling Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car in January.

Company officials did not disclose details on the pricing or driving range of the 2016 Volt, which will debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Supplier sources previously said the No. 1 U.S. automaker was planning to sell two versions of the 2016 plug-in electric car, including a lower-priced model with a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range.

Last year, GM cut the Volt's price by $5,000 to help boost demand for the plug-in hybrid car in a segment where consumers do not pay much of a premium for the technology and are anxious about being stranded during a journey without power. The Volt also has a gasoline engine to address the latter concern.

The current Volt is priced just under $35,000 and has a driving range of almost 40 miles on its electric charge, with 380 miles of total driving range. Nevertheless, sales so far this year through July fell almost 9 percent from a year earlier to 10,635 vehicles.

The Cadillac version of the Volt, the ELR coupe, has also failed to catch on as GM has sold only 578 during the seven-month period.

GM said the Volt would continue to be built at its Detroit Hamtramck assembly plant. In April, GM said it would spend almost $400 million to upgrade tooling and equipment at the plant for the next-generation Volt and two future products.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)