Ampera-e Gets Massive Price Hike In Europe, Opel Points Finger At GM

2 weeks ago by Mark Kane 57

Opel Ampera-e

The saga of Opel Ampera-e’s (AKA Euro Chevrolet Bolt EV) unavailability in Europe is approaching its climax, now with a steep price hike by GM, forwarded by Opel to future customers.

Opel Ampera-e

The troubles with Opel Ampera-e deliveries began after GM sold Opel to PSA Group. Now, with several thousand orders in just the first few countries, Opel has advised dealers to stop accepting new orders as deliveries from GM are being limited.

With so much inventory in the US, and Opel saying that none (of significance) will be coming until at least 2019, it was becoming obvious that GM wasn’t making enough money via the Opel partnership to supply the product.

Now the latest reports from Norway states prices are to increase by 45,000 NOK (around $5,500), which together with a general price increase for 2018 model year shoot the price from 289,900 to 349,000 NOK ($43,000) before incentives.

Update:  A similar €5,700 increase was announced in the Netherlands by Opel.  Check out the 2018 model year spec sheet and pricing (via Opel) here.

Making matters worse, that price increase applies to cars already on order – not just orders going forward.

So who is to blame?  Not Opel apparently, as company spokesperson Stein Pettersen said (quite frankly) to Dinside, that it was ultimately GM’s decision to hike Opel’s cost:

“I have no problem understanding if people are giving up, annoyed and some (are just) pissed off…This is tough news, not least for our dealers. And of course, also the customers”

“This is simply the result of GM selling Opel to PSA. Car prices have increased throughout Europe. On Friday they set up the Ampera-e prize with 5,700 euros in the Netherlands.”

So, now the Opel Ampera-E is a lot less affordable…but we suppose it might be a little easier to get one now in Europe?  Not a great consolation price.

source: Opel NL, Dinside.no via Electrek, Hat tip to Seth M!

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57 responses to "Ampera-e Gets Massive Price Hike In Europe, Opel Points Finger At GM"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    Not surprising given the real cost to import it to Europe.

    1. Terawatt says:

      How exactly did that change dramatically by Opel being owned by PSA rather than GM?

      This is plainly just confirmation of what I and many others have been saying for a long time: GM does not want to sell the car outside of the US!

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        I think that GM planned to eat some of the import costs to have it be a halo offering of sorts in Europe, and help draw people to the brand.

        That becomes irrelevant after their brand no longer exists.

      2. L'amata says:

        Just another excuse, and one more way for GM to Discourage EV sales. GM would rather NOT sell EV’s cars at all, Unless they need to sell EV’s to Bank Carbon Credits, That way they get to sell More BIG Ass Gas Guzzling Monster Trucks & SUV’s.

      3. unlucky says:

        Looks more to me like PSA needs to add their own markup to cover their own overhead.

        This doesn’t seem to indicating anything about GM wanting to sell the car in Europe or not given they aren’t selling it, PSA is.

    2. Chris O says:

      Not surprising seeing how at the end of the day Bolt’s main mission was compliance and GM has no more compliance issues in Europe. The current sky high price probably better reflects Bolt’s production cost than prices in markets where compliance is an issue, GM has no more use for loss leaders in the European market.

  2. Benz says:

    GM actually might want to sell the Chevrolet Bolt EV in Europe directly (and not with a Opel badge)?

    1. Terawatt says:

      They’ll have to start with direct sales then, since in much of Europe they don’t have any dealerships.

      By the time they’d be able to supply the car there should be several other options that are just as attractive range-wise, and that and the Opel badge were in fact the only real strong points of the Ampera-e. I don’t think a Chevy-badged Bolt in 2019 will do well against the Hyundai Kona, KIA Niro, Hyundai Ioniq (by then 200+ miles), LEAF and so on.

      1. Dr. Steelgood says:

        I would rate the Hyundai Ionic nearly as unavailable as the Opel Ampera-E: From the data sheet it looks good, but it takes at least 18 month until you’ll get one, even the dealer didn’t have one and would have to wait the same time. So, I decided to keep my Mod3 reservation and order an eGolf for the meantime, which is promised to be delivered in March 18.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      GM lost $20 billion in Europe over 17 years and sold their business. No more losses and no GM in Europe.

    3. unlucky says:

      I cannot imagine PSA would pay anything for Opel if they didn’t also get a period of exclusivity along with it.

      I’m expect under the agreement GM isn’t allowed to introduce new products into Europe for at least a few years. We could I guess hold out hope EVs are excluded from this, but I rather doubt it.

    4. eltosho says:

      GM has no brands in Europe. They stopped chevrolet sales years ago.

      1. Peter Gazis says:

        GM has 34 dealerships in Europe. Located mostly in Germany and Switzerland. They sell Cadillacs/Corvettes/Camaros.
        Volume is low,only 2,600 vehicles sold last year.

      2. Walt says:

        Not True, there are chevy’s in the Netherlands.

  3. Some Guy says:

    Well, who cares about the price hike. It’s not like there are any Ampera-e vehicles for sale, so wether they cost 35 k or a million doesn’t really matter…
    Germany, largest market in Europe, got allocated around 100 vehicles (lease only). Norway has 5000+ reservations and got a few 100 units; it’s not even possible to reserve one any more.

    1. unlucky says:

      Well, in retrospect PSA telling dealers to stop taking orders was probably because they knew they were about to raise the price and not honor the old price for those in line.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Once they increased the price, it may become profitable for GM to sell the cars. So hopefully it may become available for those willing to pay full price.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        That didn’t work for the Volt (Ampera) sales in Europe. Sales were so low, because GM had jacked up the price so much, that GM quit even trying to sell it there.

        I was hoping it would be different for the Bolt EV (Ampera-e). I was hoping that GM would require Opel to sell the car at a competitive price, even though they weren’t sending many overseas. I was hoping that GM was planning to increase overseas shipments in future years, and that they wanted to get a toehold in the market this year with just a few hundred units.

        Sadly, it looks like GM is even less interested in selling the car outside the U.S. than I thought. 🙁

        1. Miggy says:

          Agree, GM did the same in the rest of the world with the Volt.
          GM is not interested in worldwide sales.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          Why in the world would GM want to get a toe hold in a market by offering a compelling vehicle through a company that is not GM?

          It makes no sense.

  4. ffbj says:

    GM fled the Europe after 20 years of losing money they’re not about to continue to lose on Bolt’s badged as Ampera’s.
    Hardly a surprise.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      This is more or less correct from how I see it. GM wasn’t even profitable selling ICE car sales in Europe.

      They can make a profit here in the US and Canada. On top of the benefits selling ZEV credits to automakers not currently making EVs if they choose.

      Selling cars to PSA will not make them as much money as they could earn in North America.

      And PSA isn’t interested in losing money on Opel. Their primary goal is to make the automaker profitable again. So they aren’t willing to take the loss and sell it at a lower price either.

  5. bjrosen says:

    The interesting thing here is that GM has signaled the price point where the Bolt is profitable. The US price is distorted by ZEV credits and GM desire to maintain market share. In the US GM doesn’t need the Bolt to be profitable yet, they are happy if it just doesn’t lose much money. The important thing is that they get the experience building EVs so that when the market finally turns EVs they will be ready.

    Europe is a different story. GM has pulled out of Europe so they don’t care about long term market share. They have no reason to discount the Bolt in Europe, any car they sell there at this point needs to be profitable. What this price bump says is that they can make a decent profit at the new price.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      ZEV credits are in ballpark of $10,000+ per car, I don’t know how much exactly now. It is enough to make profit as most sales are in CARB states.

    2. EVShopper says:

      They don’t really need experience building EVs. They’ve sold something like 160,000 in the US alone. Since the Federal rebate launched.

    3. Ricardo says:

      Exactly. To all those saying the end of the federal rebates don’t matter, hmm, be afraid, be very afraid. In the end, this validates Tesla’s strategy once more. Start expensive. But I think you can forget about EVs going mainstream in the next few years.

      1. Ricardo says:

        In the end, it’s still a great car with no real competition. But I doubt many will want it.

  6. Get Real says:

    Bjrosen nailed it.

    The main reasons the Bolt exists is that GM didn’t want to have to buy ZEV credits from Tesla in CARB states and GM didn’t want Tesla to first with an affordable long-range BEV.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      That’s only part of the answer. The primary reason why the Volt/Bolt exist is that GM doesn’t want to fall behind Toyota again, as they did with the Prius.

      It is less important than the Volt/Bolt have amazing sales and more important that GM develops EV tech. Voltec is already leaps and bounds ahead of any other PHEV drivetrain, and the Bolt has significantly better tech than any of the other major automakers.

  7. DJ says:

    Consolation prize!

    Kinda rude of them but you can definitely see why they did it.

  8. u_serious? says:

    GM will be more than happy to sell them an inexpensive Gas Guzzler over there.

  9. bro1999 says:

    GM wanted to bail the money losing European market. Why continue to supply PSA with Ampera-e’s? GM sorta has PSA by the balls here. Might as well profit from them.

  10. EVer says:

    The legacy makers will start selling EVs when market forces push them to do it; Until then they will sell ICEVs as long as they can.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      That’s not really true, since GM doesn’t want to sell ICEs in Europe, either.

  11. vdiv says:

    Sounds like Opel pointed the wrong finger at GM 😉

    So… about that Leaf, e-Golf, Ionic…

  12. Tom says:

    It’s understandable why GM wanted to jettison Opel but that leaves two giant glaring issues. 1. GM contracting and simply abdicating an entire continent worth of market share never to be regained.
    2. What company in their right mind would pay more than about $3.50 for Opel? With very little in the way of intellectual property, skills, and a proven money loser even with a big brother parent GM, it is worth negative money in my opinion. Perhaps I’m missing something.

    1. vdiv says:

      You are missing something, some of the better GM cars came to life as Opels first. GM just wants to make trucks (and not electric ones).

      1. Tom says:

        Emphasis on the past tense of ‘came’. And even if not past tense still a wildly unprofitable company.

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “You are missing something, some of the better GM cars came to life as Opels first”

        Like what? Those Buicks that don’t sell well anywhere? The Buicks that sell well in China are all designed in Korea or US or in China. None of the Opel based vehicle sell well in any countries. That is the problem. That is why GM canned them.

        The CTS/ATS are based on global chassis, aren’t Opel first. The old Catera which was based on Omega platform didn’t sell well at all in the US. None of the Opel based vehicles can make a dent in the US sales despite some of them are decently rated by auto reviewers. So, GM turned to its Asian operations for new designs that actually sold well.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Neither Volt, nor Bolt are based on Opel. Impala isn’t either (best Chevy large sedan rated). Cruze is based on global platform which isn’t Opel. CTS/ATS/CT6 are all based on Alpha platform which isn’t strictly Opel either but a global platform/chassis.

          The only ones left are the Buick models such as Regal (good car) that nobody buys.

    2. wavelet says:

      Have you ever even seen or been inside an Opel?
      I got news for you. No US-designed or -manufactured car has sold well outside North America in _decades_.
      Outside the US, noone uses trucks as personal vehicles for commuting.

      Chevrolet sells very well in some overseas markets — all of them are compact or subcompact Korean-designed & built cars, with nothing “chevy” about it except the badge.

      Opel has saved GM’s bacon multiple times by designing & building smaller, decent-performing models that actually sold.
      Only GM never apportioned Opel any money for the relevant R&D. At first they didn’t want to, and afterwards they lacked money.

      The stuff Opel sell in Europe is pretty decent — some of the models are a bit boring, but have an excellent name a.f.a. reliability and value-for-money go (somewhat cheaper than VW, better value); performance is also decent.

      1. silversod says:

        You nailed it perfectly.

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        One would wonder if there is a country where people use M1 Abrams tanks as personal vehicles for commuting?

      3. Get Real says:

        Good job wavelet.

        The rabid GM fanboys don’t want to here it but it is still true.

        Actually, I can think of one American car company that is doing very well in Europe and around the world competing against the local competition–TESLA.

        Afterall, Tesla has done what no other American auto OEM has done and that is compete and BEAT the Euro luxury makers at their own game with the Model S taking serious market share from MB’s lucrative S class (and Audi, BMW).

        Next up, Model 3 doing same against the hugely profitable 3 series, C class and Audi A class.

  13. CCIE says:

    There is no way PSA bought GM’s European car brands without agreements in place on what GM would continue to provide and at what cost. So, I call BS on PSA’s claim that GM unilaterally upped the price. More likely PSA wanted to tack on some extra profit given the high demand and low supply.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      They both go hand in hand and likely agreed to end Ampera-E sales in the first place and to play the “it is not me it is him” game as a diversion on top of it.

  14. Bloggin says:

    Simple solution….just wait for a Model 3.

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Well, can you blame GM for it? PSA certainly did. But that is BS claim. GM is there to make profit. If GM wants to charge more, PSA can either give up and go with someone else, absorb that cost and pass the saving to NOW ITS OWN customers or pass thru the price hike. Well, PSA decides to “Pass” the cost to the new buyers.

    GM is trying to make a profit on cars. So, now we can estimate the GM will make a good profit on Bolt at $43K. (sounds about right. $33K was GM’s fleet sales price to NYC). $43K would cover the potential warranty repair cost, shipping to Europe and a healthy profit!

    If they don’t like, then can stop buying Opel Ampera-E and wait for the new LEAF instead. Either way, it isn’t really GM’s problem anymore.

  16. Bill Howland says:

    Actually Ampera-E fans should breathe a GREAT sigh of relief!

    The price increase really wasn’t that much, and for the ‘tens of thousands of people applying for the backlog’, even at the increased price, OPEL should sell plenty of them.

    I mean, I wanted a Roadster, and then Musk jumped the base price up from $89,000 to $109,000 – around 450% of the price rise in this case.. The car is still plenty affordable for Europeans ‘in the know’.

    At least now they will be available. And since both PSA and GM are making money on the car, its a win-win and the car will be made available for those with the Cash.

  17. JR says:

    Pity The Opel, has such a nice badge for being Electric!

    1. bro1999 says:

      I want to replace my Bolt/Chevy badges with Opel/Ampera-E ones.

      Who has access to a wrecked Ampera-E (that didn’t have the badges damaged)?? 😀

  18. Hah, pretty much what I predicted at the time they sold Opel off, no point for GM doing any hand holding. Just too bad the price increase even affects customers who already placed their orders before. I’d stay away from such practices. Although with the situation in the USA being different, it’s still just a compliance car for Opel here in Europe.

    1. bro1999 says:

      GM probably had some agreement to supply X Ampera-E’s in the future to PSA as part of the buyout, with some wiggle room for pricing. And now GM is wiggling the price in their favor. It’s called capitalism.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Capitalism has nothing to do with it. It is just Evcide by a bunch of oilies allied old school car makers.

        1. CCIE says:

          “Evcide”…that’s a new one!

          Do you really believe that legacy automakers are conspiring to kill EVs because they’re evil?

          They’re capitalists, so they don’t care what they sell as long as it maximizes profit. At the moment selling ICE trucks for $75k generates the most profit, so that’s their focus.

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            They are not doing the right thing by preventing EV development as long as possible to be able to sell gas cars while burning fossil fuels is a major pollution, climate, corruption and terrorism financing problem. When a profitable activity becomes bad for society it is not capitalism anymore but an evil conduct and soon recognized as criminal once the devastation effects become clear to everyone.

  19. Phaedrus says:

    Suddenly a BMW i3 does not seem to be so expensive.

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