The Chevy Volt's battery fires may have generated a lot of heat for General Motors, but sales of the electric car are decidedly cool, forcing GM to shut down the Volt's production lines for five weeks beginning this month, reports the Wall Street Journal. The shutdown will leave 1,300 workers jobless from March 19 to April 23. GM said it will launch a new ad campaign this month and drop its 36-month lease by $49 to $350 per month.
"This technology is here to stay, we have all kinds of people who want to copy it and go after it. We are not re-evaluating anything," said GM's North America chief. "The only question here is what the rate of sales will be." But some Volt owners criticize the car for being less practical than more popular alternatives. "Short range, expensive, no infrastructure support, and the element of uncertainty with performance," complained one. The company sold 7,700 Volts in 2011, below the goal of 10,000. (Read more General Motors stories.)