Buick Ampere, Cousin To The Volt Coming Next Year According To Dealer Update: Dealer Says Oops, Not So

5 years ago by Jay Cole 18

2014 Buick Ampere Is A Reality According to GM Multi-Line Dealer In Atlanta

We had known that an upscale Cadillac variant of the Volt, the ELR, was coming from General Motors at some point.  Then it was accidently confirmed for next year’s production schedule by the good people at Onstar.

2013 Opel Ampera

Then we learned through regulatory filings, that GM was acquiring trademarks for other electric-like names back in June.  Namely, the Electra.

Now, thanks to a Atlanta, Georgia GM dealer, a 6th version of GM’s popular Chevy Volt looked to be potentially be coming to Buick, as the Buick Ampere.

What are the 6 versions you say?  Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, Vauxhall Ampera, Holden Volt, Cadillac ELR and now, maybe the Buick Ampere.  If only Pontiac and Saturn were not shuttered in 2009…

Jim Ellis Chevrolet Atlanta (sister dealership to Jim Ellis Buick GMC Atlanta), in a blog to customers updating the progress of their under construction, solar charging station, nonchalantly states:

“Jim Ellis Chevrolet customers will be able to “plug into the sun” and charge their Volts completely in three hours. Initially, charging is complimentary for Jim Ellis Volt customers as it will be for Buick Ampere customers (Buick’s version of the Volt) when it arrives next year!
 
Jim Ellis Chevrolet is the #1 retailer -by far-  of Volts in Georgia and with the advent of the solar charging station, the epicenter of the viable electric vehicle trend in Georgia! Stop by and see it!”
Naturally, we first went to GM themselves to get a comment/reaction to this development.  Unsurprisingly, Kevin Kelly, who is the Manager of Electric Vehicle and Hybrid Communications would only offer us the stock GM answer on the subject:
“Unfortunately, we cannot comment on future product.”
UPDATE:  Apparently word gets around fast, and Jim Ellis Chevy was quick to send out emails to clarify their mistake:

“The August edition of our e-newsletter included information about our solar charging station and a possible Buick version of the Volt.  The information on the Buick version was gleaned from the internet and we need to let our customers know that to our knowledge, there are no official plans for a Buick version let alone a name for it.  The writer fell victim to “if it’s on the internet, it must be true” faulty thinking and sloppy, unverified research.  We apologize for forwarding internet rumors to our  customers.  The solar charging station, however, is a fact and it should be ready to go in early September!

We would appreciate any posts you may have made to quote Jim Ellis on this story be modified or retracted.

Thank you

Mark Frost – General Manager Jim Ellis Chevrolet Jim Ellis Buick GMC”

Original image file of Jim Ellis Chevrolet/Buick GMC, Atlanta blog page on the subject (click picture to enlarge):

Jim Ellis Chevrolet Atlanta Lets Us In On A Little Secret

Jim Ellis Blog (and related “corrected” Ampere story can be found here)

18 responses to "Buick Ampere, Cousin To The Volt Coming Next Year According To Dealer Update: Dealer Says Oops, Not So"

  1. NRGTom says:

    Buick could really use a Voltec car to sell-There buyers are older but they have a lot of money. I think this would also be how gm would sell Volts in China

  2. Anton Wahlman says:

    Why would you assume that a single GM dealer anywhere in the world knows even the first millimeter about a future GM product that wouldn’t already have been hinted, announced or leaked — in whole or in part — to a broader journalistic filter to begin with? I mean, even if that dealer against all odds knew — or thought he knew — something, why on Earth would he be so stupid so as to open his mouth about it? Isn’t he going to get severely reprimanded by GM for saying this, whether it’s true or not?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Well, as a general rule dealer’s don’t have a ton of insight at all, for the most part they just don’t seem to care as much as they probably should.

      However, this dealer went out of his way to mention it, so we are just passing it along. Seeing how he is sparing no expense putting in a solar charger and he also owns a Buick GMC dealership as well as a Chevy one, he has a vested interested…and he goes out of his way to mention not only a unique name, but that it will be arriving next year. So we will pass it along.

      He also bills himself as “Eco friendly” on his main page of his dealership group (9 dealerships), and features Zero and Low Emission vehicles.

      null

      In all likelihood whoever is responsible for putting it up is not going to be on GM’s Christmas card list this year, right or wrong.

      We did keep the news in context of it being reported from one source…but we felt it needed to be reported as it stands, and we also gave GM the chance to get in front of it first before we went to press.

      InsideEVs is never going to be the place that just re-reports corporate press releases, I don’t think many would stop by to check us out if we did, heeh. We will highlight things of interest as it relates to vehicles with plugs, and then let the readers decide what to put stock in or not.

      1. Anton Wahlman says:

        I agree with you about his future absence on the GM Christmas Card list. In general I’d rate this dealer’s authority and reliability on this issue in the same bucket with Harry Reid’s imaginary friends. That said, it could make reasonable sense that this product is happening — certainly doesn’t seem unreasonable — but not because some dealer, no matter how many solar panels he’s got, says so.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          I hear you on this one Anton, (=

          I think Buick GMC could really use something else to sell, I still don’t understand their business model now that Pontiac has left their lots…that was a lot of volume that vanished overnight.

          I guess the Buick Cruze (Verano) was a start at replacing Pontiac, but the Buick badge seems weird on the front of it, not to mention they upcharged so much on it. I don’t know if the average Joe will flock to it like they did to cross-badged Pontiacs. In fact, the numbers say they aren’t. (128,800 vs 19,900), with only 3,000-4,000 Veranos moving each month.

          Buick dealers could probably move 500-800 Ampera skinned Buick Volts a month for a couple thousand bucks extra without hurting the Chevy too much. Heck, they should have rebadged the Holden Caprice for Buick instead of as a Chevy RWD police cruiser…I think they might still. /the old guys like big, (=

    2. Mark Frost says:

      Well, you’re right. I’m that stupid guy. If I had confidential information on future product plans from GM, I certainly wouldn’t “leak” it. In a hurry to meet a deadline, my Volt Director (yes, we have one) showed me a bunch of internet articles on a Buick version and I ran with it. There was so much information on it, I thought I was the last to know. So, yes, I succumbed to the “if it’s on the internet, it must be true” syndrome. A rookie mistake, a stupid mistake. I guess I need to stick to selling cars and leave journalism to the professionals. And I didn’t go out of my way to mention it. The article was in an e-newsletter meant for customers only and a customer posted it. Doesn’t make what I wrote right, but that’s how it happened. But, of course, I’d like to look at the bright side: I believe we are the first auto dealer in Georgia to put up a solar charging station and we are (fact), the #1 retailer of Volts in the State. It’s amazing technology that works and works well. Mark Frost, General Manager – Jim Ellis Chevrolet/Jim Ellis Buick GMC Atlanta

      1. backstroke says:

        Never mind sh!t happens, trust no long term damage. You’re on my Christmas card list for coming forward and explaining all. 🙂

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Well, he/you got some good PR out the mistake, (=

          …maybe not so much favor carried with GM, but what can you do? Not like GM didn’t have opportunity to get it front of it.

  3. MrEnergyCzar says:

    When does the Gen 2 Volt come to market? In 2015?

    MrEnergyCzar

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Would be 2016 at the very earliest I would think. You have 1.5 next year for MY 2014.

  4. ClarksonCote says:

    Any chance this Buick could be an SUV/CUV?

  5. Marc Lee says:

    I’ll take the speculation a step further. Though this appears to be a “oh man did I say that out loud and online” kind of moment, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it was GM sanctioned/planned. Let’s see give them a standard news release about a rebadging of the Chevy Volt as a Buick (yawn) or “let it slip” and let them think they’ve sniffed out some secret info and watch them bat that around for a few weeks.

  6. Brian says:

    Reading the list of 6 “Volt variants”, this seems like the old GM at its finest. Build one car, and brand it 6 times over. It’s the same car! When is GM going to address some of the limitations of this car, most notably its small size? Two years ago, they were strongly hinting at a Voltec SUV in the works. Is there any word that they are still considering such a car? I’d love to hear something even if it is just a leak from a single dealer trying to show off how “green” he is…

  7. Jay Cole says:

    Clarkson/Brian:

    As far as this car potentially being a Buick CUV, orthe MPV5 GM had foreshadowed ages ago, I don’t think that is a possibility for next year on any brand. Couple of issues in front of it:

    1) not a lot of time and they are doing the 1.5 powertrain/ELR upgrade next year

    2) the MPV5 design, which is now sold in Canada as the Chevrolet Orlando, was supposed to be made (and sold) in the US, but GM decided it either wouldn’t work in the US, or the product took away from another vehicle in the lineup (IDK what that would be)…maybe they just didn’t want HHR v2.0

    Because GM never took up prodcution in the US as they originally intented, all the Orlandos you see now in Canada are built and shipped from GM’s Kunsan plant in South Korea. It would be a logistical nightmare (and an expensive proposition) attempting to ‘Voltec-ify’ the Orlando.

    The Volt is in Dham because of its geographic proximity to all things Delta II/Cruze (of which the Volt is based) in Lordstown, Ohio, and the fact that Dham was under utilized and had its entire lineup leaving the building (Bonneville in 06, Cadillac DTS in ’10-11 and Lucerne in ’11).

    All the unique to MPV5/Orlando parts supply chain is not North America based, to do a limited run of Buick badged CUVs just seems like a non-starter. You have to believe GM will get around to the electriv MPV5, and the Orlando itself in the US (or other Delta II based small CUV)…but I think it would have to have a Chevy name as well as be cross branded, maybe with GMC. I’d look for something maybe the model year after next.

    1. vdiv says:

      If Ford’s C-MAX Energi proves to be successful, and Toyota makes a Plugin Prius V, GM would be tempted to make an MPV. Maybe that will be the Buick Electra.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      Thanks Jay.

      HHR… Cringe.

      With that new Ford PHEV CUV on the way, I hope Chevy soon responds in kind with an MPV5-like Voltec solution. They definitely have the winning drive train on their hands, now they need to keep capitalizing!

  8. Shawn Marshall says:

    GM must be making a lot of dough on the Volt to be developing all these other models. I can honestly say I’m astounded.

  9. limo says:

    what’s up, from Hidden Hills, California I want to say, I loved this blog post. However, it is strange how I ended up on your post. I searched for limousine service in kansas city on YouTube and ended up on your website. I must say I do like your site and will check back soon. But I need to find the limo I was originally looking for first. Have a amazing day! cheerio