Print 39 comment(s) - last by Milliamp.. on Jul 25 at 3:08 AM

Only 332 Amperas were sold through the first five months of 2014

While many of our readers in the United States are familiar with the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, not many are aware that it has a badge-engineered twin: the Opel Ampera. The vehicle first leaked in patent renders back in 2009 and went on sale in December 2011.
The Volt has been criticized for inconsistent sales performance during its production run, but sales of the Ampera has been downright dreadful in Europe. According to Automotive News, only 332 Amperas were sold during the first five months of 2014. For comparison, GM sold 1,684 Volts through the first five months of 2014.

GM has had enough, and has decided to pull the plug on the European sales of the Ampera.
Over a year ago, former GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky complained about the cold reception that the Ampera received in Europe, remarking, “All the governments in Europe said, 'We want EVs, we want EVs.’ We show up with one, and where is everybody?"

The poor performance of the Ampera in Europe echoes that of the Cadillac ELR here in the U.S. The ELR, which is based on the same platform as the Volt and Ampera, found a home in just 390 garages through June of 2014.
Interestingly enough, the all-electric Tesla Model S has been welcomed with open arms in Europe – especially in Norway – and is even being considered to shuttle around UK government officials.

Source: Automotive News

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Yeah ware did they go?
By michael67 on 7/22/2014 2:51:34 AM , Rating: 4
former GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky complained about the cold reception that the Ampera received in Europe, remarking, “All the governments in Europe said, 'We want EVs, we want EVs.’ We show up with one, and where is everybody?"

Where they go? They all went buying Toyota's!

Opel Ampera from € 39.900,00

Yaris Hybrid from € 17.550,00
Auris Hybrid from € 23.325,00
Prius Hybrid from € 26.550,00
Prius Plug-in Hybrid € 33.995,00
Prius Wagon Hybrid € 32.995,00

CT 200h from € 26.690,00
IS 300h from € 37.645,00
GS 300h from € 46.390,00

Its getting outclassed on almost all fronts by the better looking cheaper IS, who in his right mind would buy a Volt?

And most Europeans are not looking for 40K car, they look mainly for a car between 20 and 30K.

I love my Model S, and my wife loves her little Yaris Hybrid, as it perfect for town.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Manch on 7/22/2014 3:36:11 AM , Rating: 2
“All the governments in Europe said, 'We want EVs, we want EVs.’ We show up with one, and where is everybody?"

Maybe they should pay attention to what the people want instead as they are the primary market. They showed up with an EV that barely anyone wants. As you pointed out there are better deals. There are also better deals to be had w/ just regular old ice vehicles that are quite efficient.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2014 11:56:05 AM , Rating: 1
lol that quote.

It's like GM doesn't even know the difference between an EV and a plug-in hybrid. And they MAKE the goddamn thing!

The Volt would have flopped in America too, if not for the cronyism between Obama and corporations who suddenly decided to buy thousands of Volt's coincidentally...

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By foxalopex on 7/23/2014 3:24:20 PM , Rating: 3
The Volt is most definitely not a flop and most folks who are owners consider it a great car. It cost me about 2x the cost of the 2005 Corolla CE I owned before. Even my mechanic friends who thought it was a bad idea changed their minds after seeing it with me for a year and watching it ride cross country and through one of the worst winters here in Canada.

And it's not like I had much of a choice either. If you want to drive an electric car and I do, you had a basic choice between a Telsa S, Volt or Leaf. The Telsa S is priced way out of my budget range and can't go across Canada due to lack of superchargers. The Leaf can't even leave my city for the same reason and I didn't want to have to own a separate gas car for the same reason. This left me with the Volt which is electric all the time (even at highway speeds) except when I exceed 40 miles. 2 years later, it's taken me across Canada on 5000 mile roadtrips and in town I've literally gone months without using gas.

Electricity where I live is cheap at about 7 cent / kwh at night and either hydro or nuclear power. When running purely on electricity which is months on end in the summer / spring and fall months, it costs far less than my Corolla ever did and when going on long trips it's fuel mileage is slightly better than my Corolla.

Personally I find it performs like a nice luxury class EV and turns into a hybrid when you run out of power. When I first got it I realized it was a bit of gamble trying out this new technology but 2 years later I still like my Volt a lot and it's been very trouble free with one oil change and 2 tire rotations.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 4:07:09 AM , Rating: 2
And how many of those hybrids sold? I'm sure way more than 300, but probably not a significat percentage of the market overall. People are not that crazy about hybrids over here because, generally, we already have more efficient ICEs; my father's 7yo Opel still gets over 40mpg (with automatic gearbox, no less). Diesel and direct injection are pretty common, too.
Fwiw, Ampera shows some personality, unlike its sibling, the Volt.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Manch on 7/22/2014 5:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
UK or US gallon? A lot of people dont make the distinction.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 5:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
I selected US gallon when doing the conversion ;)
Also, with all the taxes, the thing cost a little over a third of the asking price for Ampera (which probably doesn't include taxes).

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By michael67 on 7/22/2014 9:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Are you also using this?:

There are others but till now this is the best one for me.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 9:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
No idea. I picked the first unit converter that showed up on Google (you'd think I'd installed one on my phone by now - you'd be wrong).

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Visual on 7/23/2014 8:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
why would anyone google for a unit converter, instead of just google for the actual conversion they need?

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Visual on 7/23/2014 8:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
also this:*+one+ligh...

but i don't know why it decided the comment was spam when I typed it in the previous post

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By michael67 on 7/23/2014 10:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
Na i was thinking he used a program.

Convert is a 600KB program i have installed in to my Total Commander dir, that i have on all my PCs, and on my 64GB USB stick that hangs on my key-chain.

And it literately converts everything i ever needed.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 5:29:06 AM , Rating: 2
Crap, that's 40mpg highway, I forgot to mention this rather important part.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Manch on 7/22/2014 9:06:55 AM , Rating: 2
opel model? just curious

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 9:33:46 AM , Rating: 2
1.6l Astra. Gas.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By jmarchel on 7/24/2014 12:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
You are comparing apples to oranges. None of the hybrids, you mentioned are capable to get anywhere far purely on electric power at speed. GM did a poor job advertising proper nomenclature for the Volt and allowing it to be positioned by the media in the "hybrid" category. Technically it is extended range electric car, not a hybrid that media loves to use. It should be compared with electric cars such as Tesla or Nissan Leaf or similar to Volt Fisker cars which are designed to travel substantial distance with highway speeds purely on electric power without using any fuel. Japanese hybrids that you listed cannot do that.

RE: Yeah ware did they go?
By Milliamp on 7/25/2014 2:38:35 AM , Rating: 2
You can't compare hybrid to plug in hybrid as an apples to apples comparison because battery costs are higher for plug in. Additionally, I believe the Prius plug in hybrid supported about 10 miles on EV where the Volt was closer to 38 (61km) which requires a much more expensive battery and allows for much better overall gas mileage.

Lastly, the Volt is about $34k in the US which is about €25k euro. If it were at that price in europe it would be a much better deal than it is currently.

The Volt is actually a decent product once they can get costs down a bit because the 38 miles/61 km is a nice sweet spot of being able handle the lions share of most commutes on EV alone while still being able to go long range and fuel normally for long road trips.

Volt owners in the US get about 100 MPG out of them (2.5l/100km) and are generally pretty happy with them. What I'd like to see is more companies besides Tesla supporting the Tesla charging standard because it's the fastest available.

Taxes are an issue in some countries
By piroroadkill on 7/22/2014 5:25:18 AM , Rating: 2
Denmark, for example, does not give the Ampera tax relief since it has an ICE, so an Ampera starts at $100K. You can buy an 85 kWh Model S cheaper than an Ampera.

Sorry, GM, I'd have liked one, but the cost is too high.

RE: Taxes are an issue in some countries
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 5:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
Denmark is a little "special" when it comes to cars.

RE: Taxes are an issue in some countries
By piroroadkill on 7/22/2014 7:07:27 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, how I know. It's depressing.

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 7/22/2014 9:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
Could be worse, could be Singapore.

By Manch on 7/22/2014 12:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
You can get a great deal on a Model S if you live in Norway. Buy the car, everything else is free. No tolls, no parking fee, free charging etc.

Let them eat cake
By M'n'M on 7/21/2014 6:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
UK's Government Car Service is considering Tesla's Model S under a program to buy more than 150 low-emission vehicles. The cars would be provided to UK ministers for official business purposes across London. - See more at:

Perhaps GM should talk to the above UK ministers ? Within London the Ampera is as EV as the S, and likely half the price.

RE: Let them eat cake
By Apone on 7/21/2014 8:28:21 PM , Rating: 1
RE: Let them eat cake
By silverblue on 7/22/2014 8:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
The Vauxhall Ampera starts at a smidgen below £34,000 on the Vauxhall website using their configurator.

No wonder that it does not sell...
By BabelHuber on 7/22/2014 7:28:20 AM , Rating: 3
I have rarely seen an Ampera here in Germany, and when I saw one I had to laugh. The reason why it won't sell was clear to me from the start:

- In Germany, the Opel Ampera is widely viewed as an Opel Astra-derivate. Since the Astra starts at €17,000, pricing the Ampera at €40,000 is too high.

For €40,000 you can also get a BMW 3er, an Audi A4 or a Mercedes C-class.

Also, at €35,000 you get the Opel Astra OPC with 280hp, which is a really good car BTW.

Paying an extra €5,000 for a much slower car with much less driving pleasure is a hard pill to swallow for most customers, you must really be a hardcore environmentalist to do so.

- The high speed is capped at 160 km/h (=100mph). In a country with an Autobahn without speed limit, this is too slow - especially for the money you have to pay

- The people I know who are interested in an EV want a cheap car to drive a few km to work and back every day and only rarely drive longer distances. In these rare cases, they can just rent a car and still save money compared to the Ampera.

- People who regularily drive longer distances usually buy a Diesel. It is well known that the Ampera does not consume less fuel on the Autobahn than most Diesels, while at the same time being slower.

So who should buy these cars?

By Milliamp on 7/25/2014 2:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
In the US the Volt is $33,00 USD which works out to about €25,000.

In the US Volt owners get extremely good gas mileage out of them because it uses EV for the majority of driving and decent mileage even after you are off the battery.

They get 38 miles (61km) on EV and are hybrid after that but most drives are short and even if you drive twice the distance that is supported on EV alone you still achieved 2x the normal hybrid mileage.

A study of Volt owners found they averaged ~100 MPG in real world driving which works out to about 2.8 liters/100km. None of the diesel cars are seeing anything close to 2.8 liters/100km.

People don't realize it yet but plug in hybrid and EV will eventually make a huge market impact. It's easy to underestimate the usefulness of only ~60km on battery before using gasoline.

Too over-priced
By KiwiTT on 7/21/2014 6:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
In NZ you could get a Holden equivalent for $75,000, when you get a similarly equipped and size conventional car for half that price - $34,499.

By danjw1 on 7/22/2014 9:26:38 AM , Rating: 2
If these other manufacturers would make cars that people actually wanted to drive, they would sell EVs too.

The other thing is that no one else is doing anything to address consumers range anxiety. Where as, Tesla is rolling out their Superchargers. Now Tesla is trying to get other manufactures to use its charging technology help to cover the expenses of building and maintaining the Superchargers. No one else is trying to address this issue in a way that make sense. Most public chargers are not going to charge a car quickly enough for them to make sense on a road trip.

High priced car from budget brand?
By Wonga on 7/22/2014 3:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure about everyone else from the UK, but I perceive Vauxhall as a budget brand. My experiences with Vauxhall hire cars consisted of cars that had poor acceleration (an Astra 1.4), poor fuel efficiency (Insignia 2lD), bad visibility (Insignia) or noisy diesel engines (Insignia),, which put them far below the VWs I drove. There is nothing wrong with compromising some of these things, but a high purchase cost should translate into a better driving experience.

Also, I've never seen an advert for one of these cars. Is that just me? Maybe it's because I don't watch all the excellent programmes on ITV...

By Milliamp on 7/25/2014 2:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
Right now at about $500/kWh the 16.5 kWh battery costs about $8,250. Once LiIon prices drop to about $300/kWh it will put the battery at a more reasonable $4,950.

In the US the Volt is $34k (€25k) and that could cut costs down to $30k (€25k). That's not nearly as drastic as the price drop for an 85kWh battery like the Model S but it's still enough that after a few years of driving the fuel savings will pay for the extra price of the car.

Lithium Ion prices drop 10-15%/year, if that trend continues for 2-3 more years its enough to shift the balance of cheaper cost of ownership over to batteries and away from gasoline. If that trend continues for 6-7 years it might be hard to justify buying a gasoline automobile rather than the other way around.

By integr8d on 7/21/14, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry...
By atechfan on 7/21/14, Rating: 0
RE: Sorry...
By theaerokid on 7/22/2014 8:11:04 AM , Rating: 2
It's easier to be the best selling automaker in the country when the government of said country buys almost all their fleets from that automaker.

RE: Sorry...
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 8:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
Then again, which government doesn't? In part, it's a matter of national security.

RE: Sorry...
By silverblue on 7/22/2014 8:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
Ours, presumably, as we don't have much of a motor industry left in the UK that isn't owned by overseas firms.

RE: Sorry...
By bug77 on 7/22/2014 9:00:45 AM , Rating: 2
Even so, the factories are over there and they can produce cars/parts in case of an emergency.
Again, this is a small aspect in deciding what to buy, but it's on the list nonetheless.

RE: Sorry...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/22/2014 4:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing Japanese even comes close when you need a real truck for real truck jobs.

Please show me a "real truck" job that the Toyota Tundra cannot do.

You make it seem like a freaking pickup truck is the pinnacle of automotive engineering that the Japanese just cannot match. I mean wtf?

I'll keep my F150 Raptor, thank you. Show me anything foreign that competes with it.

Uhhh Toyota Tundra TRD Pro? Tacoma TRD Pro? 4Runner TRD Pro?

Take your pick. They're way better than whatever cheap crap Ford is putting out.

Again I'm pretty sure the Japanese have the know-how to take a truck and supercharge the engine and/or put a big engine in. That's kinda not a big deal.

Know something Japan has done for decades that GM and Ford still can't? Make cars that don't SUCK BALLS.

RE: Sorry...
By Milliamp on 7/25/2014 3:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
It's funny because he specificially mentioned cars and one of the biggest criticisms of the Big Three has always been their focus on truks/SUV's after the 90's pretty much just not even bothering to compete against Japan and Germany which is one of the things that led to their near collapse and one of the reasons the government was reluctant to bail them out.

To support that with an example the Ford Taurus was the best selling car in the US up till about 1996 when they redesigned it with a horribly ugly design at which point Toyota Camrey or something became the new king. Instead of trying to win back the lead they didn't even bother to redesign the ugly Taurus for 10 full years because there was higher profit margins focusing on trucks and SUV's. If you don't believe me Google 1996 Ford Taurus and then Google 2006 Ford Taurus.

It was frustrating to watch them fail because they weren't even trying. Allan Mulally started in 2006 and drove a Lexus when he started working there. I think it's safe to say he didn't care much for most of their cars either. Ford cars have improved quite a lot but not before they essentially let Japan and Germany become giants by sitting out 10+ years of competition.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki