Opel Ampera-e To Be Built Alongside Chevrolet Bolt In Michigan


Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

It comes as no surprise to us to learn (via a German report picked up by Automotive News Europe) that the upcoming Opel Ampera-e will be built alongside the Chevrolet Bolt in Orion, Michigan outside of Detroit.

The Ampera-e is essentially a Bolt with some body panel/interior changes that will be built in a limited fashion (upwards of 15% at best according to part suppliers), so you’d expect it to be built where the Bolt will be made, which happens to be in Orion, Michigan.

Opel’s version of the electric car will go on sale in 2017.

Even though it’s assumed that both cars will be built at the same factory, Opel declined to comment on this when asked by Automotive News Europe.

According to sources familiar with GM, there is currently no plans for a RHD version of the Bolt EV, at least at launch.

The Ampera-e is expect to have the same (or nearly the same) range as the Bolt. Pricing for the Ampera-e has not been disclosed.

Opel Ampera-e Badging

Opel Ampera-e Badging

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Chevrolet, Opel / Vauxhall

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22 Comments on "Opel Ampera-e To Be Built Alongside Chevrolet Bolt In Michigan"

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I have some information that is a bit unrelated to this article but important information related to the Bolt. EVgo has a charging program listed on their website that I’ve never heard of before called Recharge For No Charge. This program allows new Chevy, Cadillac and Porsche owners to charge for free, including DCFC, for 24 months but only in the DFW and Houston areas. One interesting aspect of this program is that none of these manufacturers sell DCFC capable cars in Texas. This information makes me think that the manufacturers are preparing for introduction of the Bolt and other DCFC capable EVs.

We have heard from a variety of sources that GM will not fund charging infrastructure but the information on the EVgo website indicates that they are. GM has always been listed as a EVgo partner so it doesn’t surprise me that a charging program benefiting GM owners shows up on the EVgo website.

I guess someone could buy a Chevy Spark EV with CCS and move it to Texas.

EVgo also has lots of J1172 chargers around those cities also. I think it is just easier for them to lump in the “all access”, just like they started with Nissan, instead of creating a new program/system.

No competition for Leaf II which is built in Europe and so Ampera E will be more expensive because of import tax.

Go, GM, GO! I hope you sell tens of thousands of them. Norway should be a good market. Make sure it has great features for cold weather (good battery thermal system, efficient heater, remote heat-up, continual battery thermal management while plugged to AC, etc.)

Isn’t GM going to do some token “final assembly” in Europe, to avoid some of the import duties? Tesla is doing that… why not GM?


GM didn’t do it with the Ampera.

Why not? Because GM is not all-in for the BEV Revolution.

In any event, they still have to pay shipping.

The higher the justifiable price of the car the easier it is to absorb shipping cost into the retail price of the car.

That is difficult for a truly mass market type subcompact hatchback.

It could be the extra cost of splitting production between two places substantially dilutes whatever tax/tariff saving advantages there might be.

Looks great in that yellow-gold color.

Of course, it’s just a sticker in the front of the car.

Yeah right, let them build it in USA and sell it here in Europe FOR TWICE THE PRICE, as they did with the Ampera! 🙁

They could probably sell the 15% in Norway alone is my guess. On the other hand, if the differences are slim between versions they’ll flip that coin when it’s needed.

They might be able to just alot more depending on demand if it’s just some exterior bits.

Have a friend in Norway and i can say you that Opel image in Norway is nearly at the end of carmakers, there are only some dealers in the country. You could look here top car sales:
No Opel in top 20, brand Opel on place 16 in 2015.

“you’d expect it to be built where the Bolt will be made, which happens to be in Orion, Michigan.”
Actually, not at all. Maybe GM will do this, but it’s very clear that the high price of the original Ampera (Volt) was the major reason it flopped in Europe, and the only reason it was so expensive was the import taxes.
Since Opel already has significant manufacturing & assembly in Europe, surely they would have an easier time doing the minimal assembly required in Europe than Tesla does, which had to set up a new facility in the Netherlands for this.

What are the import taxes in Europe? BMW imports the X5 into Germany from South Carolina and Mercedes imports the GLE into Germany from Alabama. I know of the 19% VAT, but that does not depend on the country of manufacture. I thought the only issue is the exchange rate.

No, there is also an import tax. I thought it was 20% but when doing a fast googling the number I found was 10%.

So it’s first 10% upon the normal price and then 19-22% VAT upon that.

So just doing like Tesla and basically assemble the battery pack in Europe would do a fairly big difference in price.

“So it’s first 10% upon the normal price and then 19-22% VAT upon that.”

Make that 17-27% VAT for the EU.
17% in Luxembourg is the lowest in EU and 27% in Hungary is the highest in the EU:

Sorry, it’s 15 % in Luxembourg not 17 %.

GM need to build the Bolt in RHD as well, if Tesla can build their cars in both RHD & LHD why can’t GM.

People driving on the wrong side of the road would rather benefit from changing to driving on the right side. 😉

I’m kind of surprised that the electrified vehicles won’t all be built at Hamtramck. It just seems like that would be more efficient from a tooling standpoint, though maybe I’m looking at it too superficially.