Norway to Get First Bolt EV Based Opel Ampera-e This June, Germany And France To Follow

11 months ago by Jay Cole 52

Opel Ampera-E Arrives In Norway this spring from ~$33,600 USD

Opel Ampera-E Arrives In Norway this spring from ~$33,600 USD

General Motors has announced that the first country to be receiving the Chevy Bolt EV’s sister car, the Opel Ampera-e will be Norway.

Opel Ampera-E range comparison

Opel Ampera-E range comparison

The all-electric car is advertised in Europe as having an “electric range of over 500 km (311 miles)” on the ambitious NEDC (New European Driving Cycle), but realistically the normalized range is 383 km (238 miles) as rated by the more conservative EPA metric.

Opel cites Norway being the obvious first choice for the Ampera-e’s late Spring debut in June because it is “the most mature electric vehicle market in Europe”,  Heading into December, BEVs (all-electric vehicles) hold more than a 15% overall share of the new vehicle segment (with plug-in hybrids also over 15%, combining for 30%+).

GM also acknowledged that Europe-bound production out of its Orion, Michigan facility will be limited out of the gate, and is the reason behind the gradual roll-out of the vehicle internationally.

“As the ramp-up production curve for the Ampera-e will be slow, only a limited volume will be available in the first months. Therefore, a staggered launch plan for Europe markets has been put in place, focusing initially on the markets that have an existing EV infrastructure in place and/or have shown the greatest ambition to populate their streets with electrically-powered vehicles.”

Once Norway deliveries are underway, the next country lineup will be:

  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Switzerland

For everyone else, Opel says that “most other European countries will follow in late 2017 or during 2018 as production volume grows”.

Opel Ampera-E's Debut In Paris This Fall

Opel Ampera-E’s Debut In Paris This Fall

Peter Christian Küspert, Opel Group Vice President Sales & Aftersales added some personal input on the Ampera-e’s roll-out in Europe

“The availability of the Ampera-e will be limited due to a slow ramp-up of production at the Orion plant in Michigan. Therefore, we made a decision to go with a staggered introduction plan going first with the countries that already have some form of EV infrastructure in place or countries that have shown ambition to become EV leaders. This has created the pecking order Norway, Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

Opel Ampera-E

Opel Ampera-E

However, we are flexible here and will be able to add countries or change the order at short notice if somebody becomes so attractive because of changed policies for example. Our goal is to have enough capacity by 2018 so that we can offer decent volumes in most European countries.

Our current plan has the Ampera-e being sold by e‑agents selected from the Opel dealer network in all markets, except Norway where it will be sold throughout the entire Opel dealer network as the Ampera-e will soon be Opel’s bestseller there.”

The Opel Ampera-e has been priced from 289.900 kr (299.900  including delivery) in Norway or 33,300 Euros, which is a strong price as that works out to an equivalent of about $34,700 USD, or almost $3,000 less expensive than the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s starting MSRP of $37,495.

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52 responses to "Norway to Get First Bolt EV Based Opel Ampera-e This June, Germany And France To Follow"

  1. Willem II says:

    299 900 Noorse kronen = 33 374,6448 euro’s

    Better than expected, much more realistic than the silly priced ‘old’ Ampera.

    1. cmina says:

      Way better than the 40.000 euro I was expecting.
      Now we need to actually see these in showrooms at that sticker prince all over Europe (not just in Norway).

      I will never spend one dime on a GM product, but I do welcome the competition. So, bring it!

    2. tosho says:

      Please take into consideration that there is no VAT on EVs on Norway. All other countries in Europe have a VAT that is between 19% and 25%. This would translate to a price around the 40K EUR mark

      1. cmina says:

        Yeah, the VAT ..
        That’s why I said all over Europe.

        6 months to go and we’ll know exactly what’s what.

      2. R.S says:

        There are some rumors, that Opel will sell it for 35k after VAT and before inzentives, in Germany. But I doubt that. Especially since incentives include €2000 payed by the OEM.

      3. Willem II says:

        Thanks for clarifying about no EV VAT in Norway. We are not that lucky so ‘my’ price will be the ‘expected but not hoped’ for 40k.

  2. cHUNKYBUNS says:

    Will Opel be doing a Right hand drive version ???

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Nope…unless demand somehow called for another production facility away from GM’s Orion, Michigan facility. No tooling whatsoever for that sort of switch, and the payback/ROI to implement it would be a money-loser.

      1. cmina says:

        “The exact comment made by the GM rep to Automotive News Europe was that the company is taking “a more cautious approach. If you don’t want to lose too much money, we prefer not to make right-hand-drive yet. The decision was partly financial.”

        The “more cautious” bit is in reference to the approach taken a while back with the European version of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV), known as the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera, which didn’t sell as well in the UK as the company had hoped”

        That’s a big plus for Nissan and it’s plant in Sunderland, UK.

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Yupe, that is definitely the ‘public consumption’ version of reality. Often I wonder if the PR people have a good working knowledge of “the why” behind what they are saying, or if they are intentionally just told the talking points to disseminate, so that message doesn’t deviate from marketing’s angle.

          End of the day, the Orion plant was/is a bit of a dog and was near closed/saved at last moment after GM’s Ch 11 rinse.

          It had lots of capacity, and was/is producing the fast fading Chevy Sonic for the US market, with the Cruze-based Verano being discontinued in 2016, thus leaving a big hole and tons of extra capacity available. The fact GM chose to electrify the Sonic platform and use this particular facility, that was just managed down (maximizing employees to 1 shift) to only Sonic-based domestic production was no coincidence.

          IMO, GM would rather eat their own face over adding complexity/RHD to the Ampera-e at its US-based Orion facility for Europe (especially for this offering). The Ampera-e looks to be offered strictly as a “show-me”/halo product in limited numbers at a price that will ensure demand, and that a pre-determined allocation of limited units will be sold easily in Europe.

          Still, one can hope that demand is so incredible GM has to re-think the Bolt EV in Europe, but realistically given the bottom line financials of the EV, it just seems doubtful.

          At some point, Opel (and thus GM by extension) will need its own Europe-specific, Europe-produced all-electric car – both to properly address the regional wants and needs, but also profitability. Logically, one assumes that project is well underway now…and that the Bolt EV, re-skinned as an Opel in Europe, is akin to what the Spark EV was for the US…a stop-gap offering waiting on that ‘next’ optimized/mass produced project.

          1. wavelet says:

            Jay, why stopgap? Presumably the Spark EV was GM’s partly-for-compliance / partly-large-scale-public-pilot BEV — they don’t need another such project.

            “realistically given the bottom line financials of the EV, it just seems doubtful”

            Why? Any reason to think the Bolt’s not designed to be able to be built profitably, if the demand is there?
            Sure, battery capacity isn’t there yet, but surely it could be built in an Opel plant in Europe, if (say) it turns out European demand alone is 50K+ / year?

            1. Jay Cole says:

              No, what I meant is the Bolt EV/Ampera-e is Opel’s stop-gap for Europe like the Spark EV was in the US. The Spark EV was mission-specific car for the US, needed in specific numbers…and thus batch-produced via the path of least resistance in South Korea and then imported to the US in a controlled fashion for a loss.

              For the US, the Bolt EV is GM’s BEV of record going forward, they have to build a lot over the next ~5-6 years and as such, not lose money (and hopefully make some before it is done and the line paid for). The US-build Ampera-e is not that car for GM in Europe…it’s the Spark EV.

              As for the reference of “…one can hope that demand is so incredible GM has to re-think the Bolt EV in Europe, but realistically given the bottom line financials of the EV, it just seems doubtful.”

              What I mean is, while the ‘GM loses 9k per Bolt EV‘ media rumor we heard (but IEV didnt pass along/propagate) is total nonsense, we can assume GM has built the EV for the US to break-even or to eek out a small profit.

              With that said, OEMs make/source batteries close to plants for EVs because that is how you keep margins down in a tough field, and that is also why OEMs regionally produce any type of vehicle (petrol or EV) they intend to sell in volume – to control currency swaps and transportation/import hassles. On both these counts the Bolt EV is a production-fail for Europe, and the car has a thin margin at best in the US.

              As mentioned above, GM North America has produced the Bolt EV in the segment that they are the worst at – small passenger cars, and from a nightmare of a plant for them. So the Bolt EV in the US doesn’t ‘steal’ high profit margin sales from elsewhere in their lineup, and it helps to optimize the ‘dog’ that is Orion assembly plant, and gives those 1,005 UAW Local 5960 workers something to fill-up their day a little more (they were at the plant making Sonics anyway).

              On a ~35,000 USD/Euro passenger car, GM would typically make a high (~30%) automotive margin. For the Bolt EV in the US, that margin is likely right around zero (could be a little profit, or a little loss), but they certainly aren’t making $11,000 a pop…but they don’t care, because no SUVs or trucks were harmed in the process.

              For Europe, Opel’s money isn’t made from ‘utility’ vehicles, but rather from, wait for it…passenger cars (just check out Opel’s vehicle lineup – not a lot of SUVs and trucks in there), and much smaller ones that would be found in the US.

              So when Opel sells a re-badged Bolt EV to one of their customers in Europe, that is definitely NOT making any profit, it is also shooting itself in the face at the same time…which is why (IOO) that the Ampera-e is being build as a limited run/priced aggressive product in Europe – its a halo car that GM has available as a “show me car” today..that is until Opel can produce and sell a Europe-specific EV of its own – in theory for more (any) profit and safely away from its ‘cash-cows’.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                Doesn’t that depends on whether Ampera-E becomes a conquest sales leader?

                If the customers who buy Ampera-E wouldn’t otherwise buy an Opel, GM still wins right?

                1. Jay Cole says:

                  Well, supposing GM were to sell 100% of the Opel Ampera-e’s as conquests from other OEMs, and they were selling them at break-even or for a slight profit.

                  Realistically, neither of those things are very near likely.

                  Even if they were, it would be a marginal benefit (in appearance only) for a limited time, on a limited run for Opel…with the end result potentially being to faster spur other OEMs with their locally sourced, better/cheaper mass production EVs for Europe-specific.

                  End result would likely be in replicating the exact same effect, but in reverse, and to a larger extent for the benefit other OEMs.

                  …or perhaps I have just been covering this segment too long, and am getting too cynical, (=

                  1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                    So if that is the case, then why would GM bother to sell it at all?

                    I mean the point is either to have market presence, get conquest sales so people would give Opel a chance or let your competitors eat your market share eventually.

                    “It is better to cannibalize yourself than let your competitor do it for you”

                    Also, if the car is very close to break even or has a small loss, wouldn’t increase in production volume help to reduce cost and makes it more profitable with higher volume?

                    I have always thought the Bolt/Ampera-E is a way better fit for Europe than US.

    2. Cavaron says:

      Neither Opel nor Vauxhal…

  3. terminaltrip421 says:

    a few questions; in the article it mentions Europe-bound GM products out of Michigan. within this context I would assume that the Opel is something other than GM in name only. assuming this is the case what incentives are there for GM selling the vehicle to European countries when compared to the usefulness of selling within CARB states?

    I ask because of the rumor I think most of us have seen claiming a $9k loss per vehicle. an understandable write-off where it’s relatively necessitated i.e. emission mandates but less so if these European countries don’t have mandates of their own.

    granted, ideally a company would take a loss for innovation and the long game. fighting for market share obviously isn’t unheard of …just wondering what the deal is here and if we could possibly dismiss the accusation that GM will be selling these at a loss.

    one might even think that GM could sell marked-up vehicles to recoup the losses from sales within mandate states.

    1. terminaltrip421 says:

      oh and can someone please remind me where to go in order to utilize an avatar here? Push told me last time I asked but I never jumped on it and it would be near-impossible to go back and find that post. ‘twould be greatly appreciated!

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Globally Recongnized Avatars (so it’ll follow you around wherever you associate yourself on the net – more or less) here:

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          I was wondering about that! 🙂

          1. ffbj says:

            Plus you can have different ones, like
            Kdawg will have one for each holiday.

            1. HeisenberghtCRAZY says:

              Cool, can it also handle all of my conflicting split personalities?

    2. cmina says:

      Let’s first wait and see how many make it over the Atlantic.

    3. Neromanceres says:

      I think the answer your looking for and that many seem to be having a hard time accepting is that GM is simply not building the Bolt EV / Ampera-e as a compliance vehicle. And that the $9K loss per vehicle is completely bogus.

      Also given the fact that many countries in Europe are passing legislation for banning gas/diesel cars in the future companies like GM want to get a foot hold in the electrified market.

      Also to add Opel is a GM brand just like Buick. In fact most Buick’s are near identical to the Opel lineup.

  4. bro1999 says:

    So Canadian and European Bolts (Ampera-e is a Bolt) will start at thousands less compared to US pricing. Is this simply a consideration of currency fluctuation? Or is this an indication that GM definitely has lots of room to lower the price of the Bolt in the US?

    Why would they do that? Good way to steal the thunder from the Model 3 by undercutting it on price!

    1. bro1999 says:

      Oh, and unless I’m mistaken, the Canada/Euro Bolts have more features offered on a base model. So even more bang for the buck.

      1. Kdawg says:

        The strong US dollar should actually cause the prices to be higher in Europe. I think there’s room for GM to trim the price in the US once the tax credit starts to evaporate. And I’m glad GM didn’t do the same thing they did with the Ampera (Euro-Volt) and price it out of the ball-park.

    2. Sch says:

      The price in Norway is without any VAT or sales tax, as EVs are not affected by taxes there.
      I assume the MSRP in US already includes some sales tax.

      1. Kdawg says:

        MSRP in the US does not include tax. There is no national tax here. Sales tax varies by state, and some states have no sales tax.

      2. wavelet says:

        Sch, just a clarification: The US is culturally different from Europe in this respect.
        Unlike in Europe, the displayed/advertised prices for everything (from cars to what you see on Amazon or in physical stores, to restaurant menus) virtually _never_ include sales tax. While the tax % is much lower on average than in most European countries (8%-10% is typical), it’s not negligible, and some municipalities have their own local tax added as well.

        1. Kdawg says:

          (hopefully this shows up OK)

          State State-Tax Local-Tax Combined Max
          Alabama 4.00% 4.91% 8.91% 7.00%
          Alaska None 1.76% 1.76% 7.50%
          Arizona 5.60% 2.57% 8.17% 5.30%
          Arkansas 6.50% 2.76% 9.26% 5.50%
          California 7.50% 0.94% 8.44% 2.50%
          Colorado 2.90% 4.54% 7.44% 7.10%
          Connecticut 6.35% None 6.35%
          Delaware None None None
          Florida 6.00% 0.65% 6.65% 1.50%
          Georgia 4.00% 2.96% 6.96% 4.00%
          Hawaii 4.00% 0.35% 4.35% 0.50%
          Idaho 6.00% 0.01% 6.01% 3.00%
          Illinois 6.25% 1.94% 8.19% 3.75%
          Indiana 7.00% None 7.00%
          Iowa 6.00% 0.78% 6.78% 1.00%
          Kansas 6.15% 2.05% 8.20% 3.50%
          Kentucky 6.00% None 6.00%
          Louisiana 4.00% 4.91% 8.91% 7.00%
          Maine 5.50% None 5.50%
          Maryland 6.00% None 6.00%
          Massachusetts 6.25% None 6.25%
          Michigan 6.00% None 6.00%
          Minnesota 6.88% 0.33% 7.20% 1.00%
          Mississippi 7.00% 0.07% 7.07% 1.00%
          Missouri 4.23% 3.58% 7.81% 5.00%
          Montana None None None
          Nebraska 5.50% 1.30% 6.80% 2.00%
          Nevada 6.85% 1.09% 7.94% 1.25%
          New Hampshire None None None
          New Jersey 7.00% -0.03% 6.97% 3.50%
          New Mexico 5.13% 2.22% 7.35% 3.56%
          New York 4.00% 4.48% 8.48% 4.88%
          North Carolina 4.75% 2.15% 6.90% 2.75%
          North Dakota 5.00% 1.56% 6.56% 3.00%
          Ohio 5.75% 1.35% 7.10% 2.25%
          Oklahoma 4.50% 4.27% 8.77% 6.50%
          Oregon None None None
          Pennsylvania 6.00% 0.34% 6.34% 2.00%
          Rhode Island 7.00% None 7.00%
          South Carolina 6.00% 1.13% 7.13% 2.50%
          South Dakota 4.00% 1.83% 5.83% 2.00%
          Tennessee 7.00% 2.45% 9.45% 5.00%
          Texas 6.25% 1.80% 8.05% 2.00%
          Utah 5.95% 0.73% 6.68% 2.10%
          Vermont 6.00% 0.14% 6.14% 1.00%
          Virginia 5.30% 0.33% 5.63% 0.70%
          Washington 6.50% 2.39% 8.89% 3.10%
          West Virginia 6.00% 0.07% 6.07% 1.00%
          Wisconsin 5.00% 0.43% 5.43% 1.75%
          Wyoming 4.00% 1.47% 5.47% 2.00%
          D.C. 5.75% None 5.75%

    3. unlucky says:

      It only makes sense to lower the price on something if it’ll get you more sales. Otherwise you’re just cutting your profits.

      Bolt’s going to sell anyway. I’m sure the price will drop once it has some competition.

    4. Toby says:

      GM had to bake in the $7,500 tax credit into their launch pricing model for the Bolt. I bet you they drop the price $4000-$7,500 when their EV credits run out.

      1. Ziv says:

        Toby, remember that the tax credit doesn’t simply “run out”. That would be too simple.

        After Tesla and GM sell 200,000 electric cars the tax credit gets cut in half to $3750 at the end of the quarter AFTER their 200k’th car was sold. So 3.1 to 5.9 months later.

        AND, Tesla/GM can sell an unlimited amount of electric cars in that time frame. Like eleventymillion, if they could find the buyers.

        Then you have 6 months of sales (with no max amount) that get the $3750 credit, then you have 6 months of sales that get the $1875 credit.

        GM small cars will never be all that popular, their reputation is bad due to decades of poor quality, but Tesla could hit this thing out of the park, IF they have the III in production for a couple months before they hit 200k. It is going to take a couple quarters for Tesla to build up to a high production rate on the III, but when they do, if they can keep the price below $40k for the base model, they could sell the heck out of that car.

        Because Tesla has the cachet that every car maker wishes they could have.

  5. Viggo says:

    Dear GM and Opel.
    We need more cars, way more cars sooner.
    The Norwegian orders are growing faster than the planned deliveries.
    I signed the final contract today and realized the quoted delivery in june had been pushed back to october.
    More cars please – sooner.

  6. Another Euro point of view says:

    I am a bit less optimistic about the Ampera E success in Europe than I was a month ago. I understand it will be priced +/- EUR 40K when VAT included. That’s a lot. On top I remember reading from one of our Norwegian commenters here that there were rumors in Norway that the Bolt seats are c…p. That needs to be verified but looking at the pictures it is true that the general image did not fit with what the posh Euro families (the EV buyers basically) expect from a car. These expectations explains the success of the eGolf/3 in Norway. Short range but Norwegian do like the classy & sober fit those products have.

    1. sven says:

      I recall reading that Norway rumor, but I don’t remember any other car review saying that they were c…p or complaining as strongly about the comfort of the seats. Motor Trend did comment on the comfort of the seats, and had this to say:

      “The rear-seat roominess is made possible in part by the (industry-first) ultra-slim front seat designs that involve a metal framework with a flexible plastic shell lined with a thin (0.4-0.6-inch thick) layer of foam. They provide ample support, and in our brief drive we felt no hard pressure points. And anyway, nobody will ever spend 10 hours at a stretch in these seats.”

      I wonder if the “plastic shell” will get stiffer/harder in the the winter, especially in the morning after the car has been left outside on a frigid night. FWIW, I know that my posterior can tell that the thicker foam on regular car seats is indeed harder/firmer after a car has been sitting overnight in frigid temps.

    2. unlucky says:

      The seats aren’t crap. They’re about the same as the LEAF seats when sitting on them. That doesn’t make them fantastic or terrible.

      The center seat in the back is lacking in padding. But this isn’t at all abnormal for a car that’s barely a 5 seater. The rest of the seats are about as soft as you would expect.

  7. unlucky says:

    I’m going to try to pretend I’m not an impatient potential Bolt-buyer when I say this:

    When is the US going to see its 4th Bolt sold?

    Sure, 3 average Joes got them. And there are “VIP units” out there presumably going to VIPs. But when will they resume deliveries to normal people?

    1. Taser54 says:

      What evidence do you have that deliveries are not occurring to regular people?

      Crickets …

      1. unlucky says:

        The dealers tell me so when I ask them. The same dealers who will get you a test drive also say they aren’t delivering any yet.

        Also I’m on the list to get one when regular people get them. I ordered it a while back, put down a deposit. My car was built a while back and there’s no sign it’s being delivered soon.

        How about you go over to and look for all the people who received theirs already. Or you could not bother because there aren’t any.

      2. unlucky says:

        Oh look. A dealer (in California) explaining they haven’t sold any units yet, not even the first on their order list.

        GM has sold 3 Bolts. It’s bizarre. Why are they still holding back?

  8. speculawyer says:

    I think the Opel Bolt is going to sell big in Europe. That long electric range, don’t have to pay for super expensive European gasoline, looks like a typical European small car, Europe has a good CCS charging infrastructure & just announced plans to build a GREAT CCS infrastructure, lots of incentives in various European countries, etc.

    I hope GM has a raging success with this car and its US version.

    1. LOL says:

      Were Opel smart enough they would throw in some money to re-purpose one of its plants by adjusting it to producing EVs. I mean the Bolt design has strong appeal to European consumers and should Opel be able to calculate the final price from 25-27k € their sales of Bolt in Europe would easily slide beyond 200k copies. Up to them …

    2. instant tq says:

      totally agree with that, it’s nice compact european car, very practical, however not cheap, but many would love it. Especially in Norway, Germany and Netherlands

  9. Pete says:

    REnault Zoe with 41 kWh battery starts 229.400 Kronen, 8.000 € less and the Zoe 41 kWh Intes is also 6.000 € less.

  10. Bill Howland says:

    The frustrating thing to me, is that the US destined BOLTS are going to be the MOST EXPENSIVE vehicles.

    Both the Canadian Versions and Euro – Destined models are going to be more well equipped for a lower-price than Americans will have to pay.

    I’d assume the main difference will be that countries where a 32 amp imballance from the MAINS is permissible with get the USA’s single 32 ampere charger. Those where it is not allowed, such as Switzerland, will get the 2X16 model, both of which 7200 watts rated.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Jay, do you care to opine here? I don’t really understand how GM could only be break-even in the US, and then sell in Canada for far less, for example.

      The numbers literally don’t add up. 😉

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Bolt EV pricing in Canada:

        GM (and other major OEMs) have to price to the market if they want to continue to sell in volume, which means you can’t do currency swaps on a vehicle-to-vehicle basis, but on the fleet average. This is why all major OEMs have to have foreign product in larger markets.

        Put another way:

        The USD has moved from almost at par (~$1.03) to $1.33 in about 3 years, so you just can’t add that sort of mark-up on top of the MSRP for a US based product sold in Canada – you won’t sell any, you have to cost account on the whole.

        Here is the thing, GM lose on the Bolt EV in Canada big time because its Michigan/South Korea made (well there is some Canadian content in there from companies like Magna…but I digress), but they will also make HUGE margins on cars build in Canada go the other way. So in America you could be buying a Equinox or Impala built in Ontario, in ~2018 the next gen Silverado.

        GM Canada right now builds about ~17% of all GM North America products, but Canada last month only accounting for 11% of sales…so right now an accelerated inverted currency swap strengthening the US dollar is to GM’s benefit overall.

        GM pricing on the Bolt EV (Ampera-e) in Europe: In our opinion, it’s a limited/run halo offering only and GM doesn’t want a repeat of the logistical mess it had with the Ampera (nee Volt) by pricing it to attempt to break even…that move ended up probably costing the company more in the long run, and gave them a black eye in Europe.

        In the grand scale of things, losing a few thousand on a few thousand cars in return for the good will/free advertising/marketing vibe for the brand is the win.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Interesting, thanks for the insight Jay!!

  11. bogdan says:

    First Ampera-e delivery in June!
    And people are complaning Tesla has dificulties ramping up production, well it seams GM has even more dificulties, considering it’s a legacy auto maker.

    1. bogdan says:

      I suggest Tesla should sell the first Model 3 today, the 2nd in June 2017 and ramping up production in Q1 2018!