Opel Ampera To Be Discontinued When Next-Gen Chevy Volt Gets Released

JUL 22 2014 BY JAY COLE 49

Despite Some Fairly Attractive Design Features, The Ampera Has Not Had Much Success In Europe

Despite Some Fairly Attractive Design Features, The Ampera Has Not Had Much Success In Europe

The Chevrolet Volt is America’s all-time best selling plug-in vehicle.  Its cousin, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera in Europe is…well, nothing to Europeans.

Despite some lofty expectations for the car in Europe, perhaps like what the extended range Mitsubishi Outlander now enjoys.  Sales of the Ampera started low, and got lower.

With Ad Spots Like This How Did The Ampera Not Sell Better?

With Ad Spots Like This How Did The Ampera Not Sell Better?  Is The Car Draining The Life Of Those Around It?

Yearly estimated Opel Ampera sales in Europe:

  • 2011 – 268
  • 2012 – 5,300*
  • 2013 – 3,184
  • 2014 – 357 (through May, plus fractional Europe reporting for June to date)

Looking at the numbers, it should come as no surprise then that Automotive News has now revealed that two person’s familiar with General Motor’s internal plans are both stating that when the next-generation Chevrolet Volt arrives for model year 2016, the Ampera will not continue on.

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt is set to launch in the second half of 2015.

GM so far has declined to comment on the Ampera’s demise, but it would seem to make sense to us.

Earlier this year AutoCar tracked down a Vauxhall representative (the Ampera is sold under the Vauxhall flag in the UK) and got this ‘less than inspiring’ comment, saying that Vauxhall was “ …fully committed to the Ampera in its current guise.”

Separately, Opel has plans to apparently launch an all-electric compact car “no later than 2017” for Europe.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Opel / Vauxhall

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49 Comments on "Opel Ampera To Be Discontinued When Next-Gen Chevy Volt Gets Released"

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EV

Why dont those twats want the car?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Because it’s not quite as overpriced as the ELR, but still very overpriced? The Ampera runs >US$60k in UK and European markets.

The Outlander PHEV costs as much or less, gets the same tax/subsidy/incentive treatment, yet seats 5 and has more utility overall.

robster

‘ those twats’ wtf. Ever left your own county or state in your live? pfff

Spec9

High price and a lack of incentives for PHEVs.

offib
Twats. Thats flattering. Well, first of all, it was a bit more expensive than the base 5-series and unfortunately those two cars had nothing in common and many people in the demographic of having the ability (well off and middle aged) to buy a 5-series would not have likely heard of EV incentives, let alone the Ampera. Nor would they likely have a more responsible mindset when it comes to consumption and the environment. Secondly, it wasn’t sold in all European countries. Ireland never had it in dealerships and we’re not the only ones. Thirdly, Opel/Vauxhal is not associated with brand snobbery, unlike other German makers such as VW, Audi, BMW, Benz, etc. No one buys an expensive Opel or Vauxhal, they’re known for rental cars. No one boasts about having an Opel or Vauxhall. Unfortunately with enough cash to meet a price at around £28,000 (inc £5,000 grant), many would not look for an Opel, or Vauxhal. Lastly, anyone looking for a plug-in would definately steer towards the updated and cheaper LEAF, the i3, e-Golf, B-Class and more because they are cheaper and newer. Even the Outlander PHEV, but while it costs similar to the Ampera, it has more… Read more »
Veselin

+1

Robster

Amen to that!

90% of the Opel dealers refused to sell it.

william edwards

I wonder what percentage of US dealers don’t sell the Volt?

vdiv

I haven’t found one yet.

Lausbub

Because:
– it’s just a hybrid, not electric
– it’s expensive
– it has only 4 seats
– Europeans want a wagon and not a sedan
– a Leaf or a Zoe is so much more attractive, if you can’t or don’t want to afford a Tesla
– it’s an Opel (looser brand image)

David Murray

My guess is that the car is just too expensive. I’ve never seen a satisfactory answer as to why it is sold for so much more in Europe and Australia. My bust guess is that because it is not made in those countries, there is probably a large import tax, but I’m not sure.

However, being that the next generation Volt is planned to hopefully be a more mass-market car, I would think it would also be easier to sell in Europe.

DaveMart

Its not import taxes,AFAIK, it is simply that GM priced it as a low volume car and not to attract business and build a market as Mitsubishi have the Outlander, which is not only cheaper than the Volt, let alone the Ampera which GM priced at a premium but has much better accomodation.

Mikael

There were many different reasons. But price is definitely one of them, if you lower the price enough people will buy it.
At half price maybe it would have sold in decent numbers.

But more importantly would have been it being a better car from a different brand.

GeorgeS

GM is a schizophrenic company.

There’s never any follow thru.

If GM had invented the Prius it would have been cancelled after year 2 because of low sales.

It’s a self fulfilling prophesy. Make no effort to sell the car. Then it doesn’t sell. Then cancel it.

Spec9

Oh come on. They are staying the course with the Volt and they added the ELR (which they overpriced). The Ampera is just being dropped because it isn’t selling and why have two different SKUs . . . they can sell the Volt in Europe.

How can they sell the Volt in Europe if the Chevy brand there is disappearing?

Spec9

Well, I just know that they do sell some of them there.

DaveMart

‘Some’ being the operative word.
GM offered Europeans the attractive option of buying into a brand they were folding or buying the Ampera at an even more eye watering premium, such that no savings on petrol would ever compensate.
They declined.

As the French might say: ‘Quelle surprise!’

As cockneys in films might say: ‘You are having a giraffe’.

As the English actually said: ‘Sod off!’

All Chevrolet dealers will be closed or switched to pure Opel during the year. They are only selling off the left stockpile of Chevrolet cars now.

vdiv

Thought they were leaving the Chevrolet brand “alive” in Eastern Europe…

Priusmaniac

Yes that is fat cash for the European oilies, the Chevy brand get cancelled, so no Volt’s delivered, and now the Ampera get cancelled. In the same time the other EV are either equipped with a too small battery and no rex or a rex but no five seats. Remains the Outlander but it doesn’t have a true EV range is an SUV and costly, and the Model S which has 300 miles range but no rex to go further and is even more costly. Conclusion oil consumption has a great future in Europe, the exact oilies wish.

“With Ad Spots Like This How Did The Ampera Not Sell Better?”
————–

The all white ads never made sense to me until I recently started researching apartments in Norway and Denmark. They sure are in love with white. Almost every apartment was decorated ceiling to floor in white, and if it wasn’t, it had a note saying that the pictures were old so don’t worry everything is white now. What the heck? They must like living in a Progressive Insurance commercial.

sven

In NYC it’s standard practice for landlords to paint an apartment white when a tenant moves out. This saves the new tenant from having to put on a coat of primer to cover the previous tenant’s color choice before applying the top coat of paint. Also, apparantly white makes an empty tiny apartment look bigger.

These are apartments/homes people are living in. Also see it in the bars/restaurants. Just different. Must be the current fad there.

GeorgeS

I’m surprised there will be a Gen 2 Volt.

It seems like GM is taking the same tact with the Volt as with the Ampera. Hoping it won’t sell so they can cancel it.

Oh well they still have time. If they screw up good enough on gen 2 they can cancel it later.

Seems like they should just save themselves the bother and quit before they throw any more money at it.

Thomas J. Thias
I amazed that all the reporting of this rumor, “ACCORDING TO TWO PEOPLE FAMALIAR WITH THE COMPANY’S PLANS.” All stories headline as fact! This from unnamed sources. Not so sure it is a good editorial plan, Automotive Industry reporting websites to report this “RUMOR” as fact! Pulling teeth to get Vauxhall UK to respond to me on social networks and email. 1) Twitter- (Vauxhall Twitter Responce) vauxhallVerified account @vauxhall @Speak_EV It’s premature for any official confirmation on any possible future Ampera changes to be made I’m afraid. 1:29 PM – 21 Jul 2014 2) Email responce back to my email requesting clarification: Sent: 22 July 2014 4:48 AM To: Denis Chick Subject: Amazing Vauxhall Ampers Extended Range Electric Vehicle- Denis Chick Director, Communications From Thomas J. Thias The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV- Facts Guy. 517-749-0532 Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt Hellow Mr. Chick, My name is Thomas J. Thias. I am reporting for my Twitter Followers on the rumor that the Opel/Vauxhall Volt EREV being discontinued for the 2016 model year. The story first surfaced on Automotive News/Europe and sprean to Automotive News Us. The story is now spreading globally as every outlet is feeding on the story that I know is best a… Read more »
vdiv

Ok, my friend! 🙂

Why won’t GM come ahead of all these stories then and put all the blasphemous rumors to rest? Show some confidence, share some assurance, be open about their plans?

Arguably the current Volt/Ampera is better than any German PHEV/EREV vehicle that is out or will soon be out, certainly GM should think so, and if not aim to do so.

Thomas J. Thias

…Because, My Friend vdiv, with Global Elecctric Fueled Vehicle Sales passing 500,000,000 in cumlative sales, US passing 250,000 by the end of September, with 34+ platforms and more on the way, all this in just the 32 Months since Volt & Leaf left US beta marketing and US National sales began.

GM holding tight with comming product against the competition.

What you will see at NAIAS 2015 will make my Chevy Volt EREV look like an 8-Track Tape.

Best-

Thomas J. Thias

517-749-0532

Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

jmac

Wow ! Volt has been the sales leader over Leaf in the U.S. and Canada, and also did well briefly in Europe.

Too much money for too little car ?
Too little corporate support ?
Too little advertising or bad advertising ?

Who knows….

One thing for sure, I doubt that there is the deep seated commitment to electric vehicles at General Motors, that there appears be at Nissan and Tesla, and a few other places.

General Motors we must remember is the outfit that crushed the EV-1.

Spec9

From what I can gather, the problem is that GM has a high price on the car AND there are no big incentives for PHEV cars. Most European incentives are focused on pure electrics and other emission free vehicles.

CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret

That doesn’t explain the Mitsubisi Outlander.
http://insideevs.com/outlander-phev-drives-mitsubishi-sales-europe/

Ampera is way too small (and by design so is the Volt).

The Ampera does look much better than the Volt. GM should sell it in the US.

Brian

I thought that smaller cars sell better in Europe. So then why is the Outlander doing better than the Ampera?

I agree on the looks. It would be nice to see these in the US.

DaveMart

Its roadspace that counts in crowded conditions.
The Mitsubishi takes up little more if any than the Volt, and offers a lot of accomodation for that, plus the high point of visibility which many prefer.

Brian

Interesting. So the Outlander has a similar footprint to the Volt?

This also possibly explains the recent explosion of Tall-But-Small cars in the US. I personally hate them. I would drive a sports car all year long if I could. The lower the better for me. But these cars are harder and harder to find these days. And if you want an EV, forget it – you have so little choice to begin with!

DaveMart

The States outside of NY and SF is a different matter.
Here in Europe only a masochist or those with chauffeurs are going to like parking long vehicles.
Sure, some put up with it, but for most the Golf or for the well heeled a BMW 5 series is about what is practical.

One of the many reasons why notions that Europe will buy as many Tesla S cars as the US are fanciful.

The length and more particularly the width are designed for American streets, not European.

Can they be driven here?
Sure, but then you can drive a bus, but not many do that for pleasure.

CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret

Ampera is too small and cost too many Euro’s.

Mitsubishi Outlander is on a massive roll in sales.

I was disappointed when GM cancelled the roll-out of the Spark EV in Europe, but then found out they were pulling all of Chevy out of Europe. I wonder if they are going to re-badge it under something else eventually.

Carcus

The Europeans didn’t bail out GM, therefore they didn’t demand ‘some quantity of plug in goodness’ from GM.

And at $60k a pop for the euro version. — it begs the question: “How much money is GM losing on each US Volt sold?”

Meanwhile… the Leaf gains momentum on both sides of the pond.
Meanwhile… GM still refuses to sell the Spark EV.

Meanwhile …same old effing GM.

CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret

+1!

The Ampera costs too much for the brand (it’s a 40k+€ Opel !)
It isn’t advertised, the only thing they call advertising is a youtube clip where your see more people running, swimming, climbing more than using the car.

Very few dealerships sell it, even less have it in stock. Opel just isn’t really interested in selling it.
It worked quite well in the Netherlands thanks to tax exemptions for businesses, apart from that, the only people who buy it already know they want it before they even set foot in the dealerships.

Stan

I lived in Belgium for (too) many years and only discovered the Ampera by accident. There are several reasons:
– Opel really did their best to hide it
– way too expensive for what it is
– only way you can afford it is as company car. The problem is that your company will give you a fuel card but will not pay for electricity at home so why should one get an Ampera as it will cost the driver more than a gas/diesel car
– the American company I worked for did not allow Opel Ampera leases because Opel was not considered a premium brand (BMW, Audi, VW were)
– Ampera got a lot of negative reviews in the press and nothing was done to counter it
– who cares about Ampera when you can get a nice golf for 10K EUR less and only uses 5.5 l/100 km diesel. That 10K price difference will buy a lot of diesel (which is cheaper than gas to begin with)

Thomas J. Thias

Q #1) ” Ampera got a lot of negative reviews in the press and nothing was done to counter it”

Heh, realy? This from just 8 months ago.

“[…]”◾100 million kilometers covered on pure electric power since market launch
◾7,700 enthusiastic owners and over 50 international awards
◾First car from European manufacturer with range extender technology

Rüsselsheim. The Opel Ampera is unique. The first electric vehicle suitable for everyday use has been on sale for almost two years and at a current price of 38,300 euros, the customer gets a car today that is equipped with the technology of tomorrow.

Owners across Europe have now driven a total of 100 million kilometers on pure electric power, so it’s time to review real-life electric mobility.[…]”

Link Goes To GM/Media/Opel Ampera-

http://media.gm.com/media/intl/en/opel/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/intl/en/2013/opel/11-19-two-years-ampera.html

Q #2: “the American company I worked for did not allow Opel Ampera leases because Opel was not considered a premium brand (BMW, Audi, VW were)”

The Chevy Volt Extended Range EV rates equal to the Mercedes Benz C-Class- US News.

Link Goes To Use Best Cars Leader Board-

http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Upscale-Midsize-Cars/

Bye Stan-

Thomas J. Thias

517-749-0532

Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

Stan

Hi Thomas,

It’s good you point to those links. It shows that even though the facts are there the customers / leasing companies are not aware of them. Very sad.

Paul Stoller

I wonder if GM might bring the first EREV SUV to Opel, so much work was done on the two mode Saturn Vue, which could have been easily rebadged as an Opel, and with the success of the Outlander PHEV in Europe maybe the reason we are seeing it go is because they are planning to replace it with something more along the lines of the Outlander.

Thomas J. Thias

It Has Been A Blistering Last 48 Hours Since The ‘RUMOR’ On The Future Of The Opel/Vauxhall Ampera Extended Range Electric Vehicle Broke.

Using A Couple Of Unnamed Sources, “~According To Two People Familiar With The Company’s Plans.”, The Headlines Raced Across The Globe And Bounced About CyberSpace As Sure Of ‘FACT’ As The Truman/Dewey Headlines of 1948!

comment image:large

Automotive Reporters from every corner of cyberspace cranked out Virtual Pulp with headlines screaming the ‘RUMOR’ as fact.

Dealers Of the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera Extended Range Electric Vehicle in Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Porugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netharlands, Turkey and Ukarine were left scratching their collective heads as reporters clamored for, ‘THE STORY!’

Source Of European Opel/Vauxhall Ampera Dealer Market, Here-(This Website Rocks!)-

http://www.opel.com/microsite/ampera/#/home

I Love This post!

Best-

Thomas J. Thias

517-749-0532

Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

Advance Safety and Health

I wish they would sell this vehicle in the states…….very attractive vehicle

Taser54

Whelp, Europe was given 4 years. Oh well.

Here’s hoping that the rebadged or reskinned Spark EV does well for Opel, because that’s all they are going to get from GM.

Thomas J. Thias

Thanks to Eric Loveday’s capture of Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann’s Twitter Posts regarding the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera’s build out, substitute, Gen 1 Chevy Volt EREV for Ampera in the reproduced Twitter, Part 3 statement from Mr. Newmann and it will look strongly like the trajectory of Gen 1 to Gen 2 Chevy Volt EREV.

“[…] After the eventual run-out of the current generation Ampera, we’ll introduce a successor product in the electric vehicle segment. 3/3 /KTN

Karl-Thomas Neumann @KT_Neumann[…]” · 15h ago

Link Goes To Eric Loveday Article Here-

http://insideevs.com/general-motors-confirms-death-of-opel-ampera/

See You At NAIAS 2015!

Best-

Thomas J. Thias

517-749-0532

Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt