Volt Based Ampera to Be Built In UK in 2016

5 years ago by Jay Cole 7

For quite awhile, (and up to last week), the future of a Vauxhell plant in Ellesmere had been in doubt, but times change quickly.  After having just been chosen to be the flagship of all things Astra, now comes word that another 700 jobs will be created to produce the Volt’s sister car (and relative twin), the Ampera.

Well, maybe.

The original excuse reason given for the shelving of plans to build the car in Europe seems to have gone out the window.  That being demand.

Reception of the 60-ish km (see what I did there?) extended range vehicle has been better than expectated in Europe, and especially in Britain, where the bulk of the car’s 5,000+ pre-orders have originated.

Now it seems the deal hinges on a government subsidy package, not dissimilar to one recently given to Nissan to build the LEAF in Sunderland.  A plant that is already partially operational, building lithium batteries for use in Nissan/Renault EVs.

Nick Reilly, who was GM president for Europe before retiring this past March, was looking for £30m in government funding to produce the Vauxhell/Opel Ampera in Ellesmere Port, as well as a guarantee that the UK’s £5000 rebate scheme will stay in place long term, bringing the Ampera’s cost down to £28995.

Although previous attempts at securing government money for the production line has failed, the political and economic climate has changed.  Ampera production figures to bring over 2,000 jobs in total to the area, and the coalition government is now hard-lining an “Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles” strategy, specifically focused on electric vehicles.

Look for Ampera production in Europe to be a reality, just not all that soon.

The Opel Team Alongside Their Baby

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7 responses to "Volt Based Ampera to Be Built In UK in 2016"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    “Quiet awhile”
    Very creative Jay….now back to the article.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      …your killing me George, hehe

      (I made it past 1 word, what do you want)

  2. GeorgeS says:

    “bringing the Ampera’s cost down to £28995.”
    Isn’t there a Vat tax on top of that or not because the car would be made in UK.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      There is always the price, and the ‘bottom line’ price, in this case, an ‘all-in’ cost before subsidy (£5,050) your looking at £37,250.00 for the Vauxhell Ampera.

      £100 more for white, £500 for tri-coat, and £1000 for metallic tri-coat. Black (which is the best color, and proven to actually increase both performance and range) is no charge.

  3. Rick says:

    I really like this body style much better than the Volt. Would like to see this version available in the US.

  4. Jean-Charles Jacquemin says:

    Thanks for the info Jay,

    So I could buy my next Ampera from UK, … cool except that my wife doesn’t want to wait until 2016 to drive an EV, since I got my Ampera, she asks me to drive it almost daily. Well it is better than “Why to buy a new car ?”.

    I hope this decision will induce a price decrease, I think this is needed for the Volt or AMpera to be affordable fr more people.

    JC NPNS

    1. staff says:

      At one of the media events there was talking of a savings of some 10-15% by moving production to UK if the market demand was there. This is would be undone by inflation as 2016 is 4 1/2 years away, but relative to other cars it would still be cheaper.

      Naturally you would still have the projected savings on the lithium batteries as they are built out, but no guarantee GM would pass those savings along.