WORKERS PAID TO DO NOTHING

10/26/12
The $300 million plant was launched by President Barack Obama in July 2010, at a bipartisan ceremony where Obama hailed the LG Chem plant and similar efforts by A123 as “jobs in the industries of the future,” saying it was key for the United States to build not just more electric vehicles and hybrids but their batteries as well. The LG Chem’s plant initial contract called for workers to build lithium-ion battery cells, 288 of which are used in every Chevy Volt — and which are now made in South Korea and shipped to a GM plant in Michigan.
General Motors was still expecting to sell as many as 60,000 Volts a year worldwide, but after demand failed to match those expectations, GM cut back production. The automaker’s on track to sell about 20,000 Volts in the United States this year, and has declined to offer future production estimates. The plant was also expected to supply batteries to the electric version of the Ford Focus, but LG Chem provides those cells from South Korea as well.
The auto industry has made scaling battery factories more difficult by demanding customized cells for every low-volume EV model. But paying people to do nothing is the weakest form of economic stimulus, and the idle plant highlights how big government bets on where and when the future will arrive often go bad.
Source—justin hyde, motoramic

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