Opel To Dealers: Stop Selling The Ampera-E, We Have Too Many Orders

4 weeks ago by Mark Kane 131

Opel Ampera-e

The Opel Ampera-e (aka the Chevrolet Bolt EV in North America) is one of the best electric vehicle values to be found on the European market today … but the availability of the inexpensive, long range EV (383 km/238 miles real world/EPA range) in the region has been nothing short of depressing.

Chevrolet Bolt EV sales in U.S. – September 2017

There are thousands of hand raisers that placed orders for the Ampera-e (4,000 signed up in Norway alone by the first day of deliveries); but here we are 5+ months after its release, and total sales have yet to reach 4 digits in the country.

There simply aren’t enough 2017 model year cars being produced for Europe (despite the fact there has been plenty in U.S. as the roll-out has widened, and the factory itself had an extended summer break), and it looks like the 2018 model year allocation (production starts December 18th) will be more of the same.

As a result, Opel is telling its dealers to stop accepting orders.  So yeah, that isn’t a good sign.

Why do this, and not just inform customers of an extended delay?

Well, apparently Opel doesn’t know when and how many Ampera-es will be available in the future (or at least they aren’t saying publicly).  For those who would order today, Opel is telling customers they can’t even nail down a date in 2019 now.  So, instead of orders, dealers will now create a waiting list…to wait on making a future order we suppose.

Via Tek.no:

…they (Opel) feel it is more tidy for customers to switch to a reservation list, as they are no longer able to promise any specific delivery date in 2019, but stresses that there is no final sale stop.”

Of note:  This really shouldn’t be surprising at all to InsideEVs readers, as we have suggested since early 2015 (even before the Europe offering was officially confirmed) that the Opel re-badging project of the Bolt EV would likely be sporatic, and limited to no more than 10%-15% of total Boltec production (we just made that term up), which was pegged at 25,000-30,000 per year out of the gate.

A similar situation is found in other European countries – thanks to the demand in Norway.  Fore example, Germany has only received just a few cars (which has translated into less than 100 sales so far we believe).

It’s a gloomy day for those in Europe looking to buy an Opel Ampera-e

Neither General Motors or the PSA Group (that acquired Opel from GM earlier this year) have yet to articulate their reasoning for intentionally short-shipping Europe, but it likely has a little something to do with profitability.

Building a value EV in the US, then shipping that car, as a completed product, into Europe isn’t really an ideal situation for the bottom line (ask Tesla about this) – and there is no valuable ZEV/emission credits to be had in Norway to offset some of those costs as there is in the US.

To the Norwegian dealers credit, some have even looked into importing the Chevrolet Bolt EV from the U.S., but there are problems between fast charging standards (CCS Combo type 1 vs 2).

source: Tek.no via Electrek

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131 responses to "Opel To Dealers: Stop Selling The Ampera-E, We Have Too Many Orders"

  1. L'amata says:

    So Much “BS” !

  2. simone says:

    changing from Type1 CCS to Type2 CCS is not a big deal , the protocol is the same for both the AC and for the DC part. The charger stilll the same ( 6kw single phase) , the only difference is the plastic of the plug

    1. Bill Howland says:

      If you are RIGHT and there is absolutely no difference between Type 1 CCS and Type 2, then there is ABSOLUTELY no downside to importing a BOLT ev. This is because all BOLT ev’s and Ampera-e’s have the exact same 32 ampere single-phase charger.

      THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I’VE been mistaken (are you keeping track Unlucky?).

      I thought certainly Opel would have a 16×2 charger in the car to go along with the type 2 ‘mennekes’ jack. Turns out they didn’t lift a finger, and swiss and italian buyers will have to suffer along at a 15 ampere limitation, and Germans a 20 ampere single phase limitation, to my knowledge those numbers are relatively accurate.

      European fans of the car should do this to cause PSA to totally lose out on the sale, especially if they can buy it through a relative and give the relative a $7500 tax deduction plus whatever state incentives there are, then ‘sell’ it to their European Relative.

      The real kicker here is it is out of GM’s hands as they do not own Adam Opel. European buyers should tell their dealerships:

      “Well, if you don’t want to sell me an Ampera-e”, then you are not going to sell ANY of your other cars either!”

      (If enough people did that, PSA would have little choice but to purchase and import them).

      1. Nick says:

        Looks pretty different.

        Only CHAdeMO is the same world wide as far as I know.

        1. Martin Winlow says:

          Yes but you are confusing things with the Chinese rapid charging standard (GB/T) and throwing in a few irrelevant internal DC connectors.

          As Bill Howland says, the only difference between CCS1 & 2 is the shape of the plastic plug and socket and that of the connecting pins therein. You could cut off one type of plug or socket from the wiring and attach the other plug and neither EVSE (charge-point) nor EV (charger) would notice any difference.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Nobody wants liability messing with 50+ kW plugs.
            Importing US spec car to Europe is possible, but it isn’t straightforward process. You need to bring up all car lights to European requirements (not cheap), pass inspection, pay value added tax and duties. And of course you will have no warranty.

            1. energymatters says:

              Correct. The Euro CCS is 3 phase plus neural (see the 4 medium sized hoels) plus a pilot and status pin.

              The US CCS is 2 leg without neutral but has a ground. These are NOT the same and cross wiring into a plug risks poor connections which then overheat.

              Since the US cars accept the two poles plus ground you might create an adapter using only two legs physically but since the voltages are different ranges you are likely to have issues getting proper operation.

              Not to mention the EU safety certifications won’t apply and they could not legally sell the car…

      2. john Doe says:

        If they imported the cars from the US to Norway, the radio/infotainment system would also have to be changed.
        Norway use digital radio (DAB +), so. . I don’t know how they would solve that.

        Not sure Opel would sell the radios to imported cars (at least not for a fair price). Also … the navigation in the imported cars have the wrong maps.

        It GM was interested in selling as many EVs as possible (and export them as well), they would have supplied the numbers customers would pay for. With or without Opel badge.

        There was about 6800 customers in line, waiting for the Amperea.. not that GM would care.. I don’t think they make any money on this model at all.
        I think they made it, just to prove they could assemble an EV – since it has fewer parts, and are normally easy to assemble. . and they wanted to beat Tesla and the model 3, and deliver a car faster and cheaper then Tesla.That is just too bad.
        People can’t wait for a new cars for years. They will find another solution soon.
        And if Norway changes the taxes on EVs, that line will drop to zero in a heatbeat.

        They should just try so sell it a bit more expensive. Add a bit better seats, and just a tiny bit exclusive interior materials. Or offer two models. .

        They would have sold at least 10-14 000 cars in Norway alone.. a country with 5-6 million people.. it they were able and willing to deliver.
        Opel knows this, and that is why they have stopped taking orders. People are just giving up on the Opel EV, and have bought an E-Golf, a Zöe or a BMW.

        Give it a year, and VW will start to introduce their EVs. I think they have the will to sell EVs, and they are setting up production lines in their large factories.
        That must indicated they expect to sell more then a few thousand.

        I can’t belive hos big of a chanse GM blew here. They were two years +, ahead of everybody except Tesla. With Teslas problems to reach industrial speed of their Model 3 – that would have been just another gift for GM.

        Now.. what if EVs take of in the US, like they have in Norway.. but with 323 million potential customers..
        How much of the market does GM want?
        Teslas problems are just temporary. They will solve the manufacturing problems, and they will be better to industrialise production. Setting up a high speed production line is a skill like everything else. With the experience gained from the Model 3, they will have an easier job with model Y.

        Audi will soon release a model, Mercedes a model, VW a model and they have all said they plan to release several models soon.

        As of now.. GM/OPEL really have no competition. Hundreds of thousands of people have to wait for Model 3 until 2019, 2020.. or even longer for some. The BMW i3 is kind of too expensive – unless the customers value the technology and the materials used in the car. E-Golf is OK for everything, but the range in shorter then the Bolt. Zöe is smaller. . just like the VW E-up (which also has shorter range)..

        Then Audi and Jaguar come with their models, which will be more expensive..
        And then the first major wave on new EVs will come, and competition will be harder.
        EVs will still have a small market share, but
        the race has begun.

        In the meantime Tesla will have control of their production, and will produce all they can handle. They have no ICE cars in their own company to compete with.
        They have their own problems as well, since they soon have to make money. They can not live from money investors throw at the company. High volume production of the Model 3 is important for them.
        Still a small company that can ajust quickly. If one market is in need of more Model 3s, they will make the cars ready for that market.

        I think what GM did here will be a study for later, on how to mess up in business. . along with Nokia hiering Stephen Elop from Microsoft to run the company (to the ground, so MS could buy it for pocket change, and use Nokia to sell their mobile OS).

        1. Peter G. says:

          Only so many cars Tesla can produce at their 1 assembly plant. Any more and traffic around the plant would be a nightmare.

        2. Bill Howland says:

          I don’t see why Europeans constantly pick on GM.

          Their only crime(S) is selling Adam Opel to PSA, and otherwise, walking away from the European market. Rightly or wrongly, GM is not the worldwide manufacturer of Old.

          Going forward, GM can only manufacture Ampera-e’s if some European car company/Dealership group will purchase them, and/or make arrangements with the Orion, Michigan plant for the purchase.

          There seems to be sufficient interest in the vehicle, that I would think GM Corporate would facilitate the sale if possible, and if they get the cooperation of the New Adam Opel, of the Ampera-e. But as I say repeatedly, it is not their decision to make.

          1. john Doe says:

            I’m not picking on GM..directly.
            And I don’t care where the company is from.

            I just find it strange that they will not manufacture more EVs, as long as there are customers in line.
            I just don’t get it.
            If they don’t make any money on this – I understand, but they should just say it like it is.

            As for Opel being ovned by another company, I see no problem there either. Peugeot is not a competitor to GM, nor is Opel. They’re usually not even on sale in the same markets.
            If Opel pays a fair price, volume would make it profitable to sell as many as possible. More vehicles to share the development costs, and tooling on.

            If they loose money, I understand that they will not subsidise another company.
            Then they should increase the price, in order to get a profit. Then Opel could take it or leave it.
            It’s not like Opel has another EV they can sell insted.

            If they make money on this car, it is a total failure to not sell as many as possible.
            They really had no competition. With GMs manufacturing skills, they would have no problems scaling up production.

            I hope there is some kind of logic behind their decision. Maybe it’s just an expensive learning experience.
            No matter what, they will have an easier job creating new EVs with the experience they have gained.
            Maybe they’re not interested in buying so much of the vehicle from LG, and plan to set up their own battery assy. plant, with their own electronics and drivetrain.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              There are plenty of dealers in the North Eastern US which are FLOODED with bolts, and people are getting $4000 off the suggested retail price. But dealers still have great difficulting moving the cars.

              Dealers would absolutely LOVE it if individual Europeans found a work around to purchase BOLTs. As everyone has been saying, if you plopped a US BOLT down smack dab in the middle of Berlin, there’d be little downside for the Berliner since the car would charge relatively fast (560 km in 1
              4 hours at home), with a 20 ampere wallbox (4600 watts) even without fast charging facilities which someone somewhere would make up adapter cords for.

              Again – as far as GM is concerned NO ONE wants the car, since NO ONE from Europe has made an offer to buy one, so to speak.

              They don’t have people who want the cars.

              Its PSA’s Adam Opel unit that has the backlog.

              All they have to do is make serious arrangements with GM to purchase 60,000 Ampera-e’s, and if an fair price can be reached, voila no more backlog.

        3. windbourne says:

          as to American radio, I would be happy if Tesla left it out and simply said that the proprietary protocol that W handed out for his buddies money, SUX.
          We should have gone with the open approach like Europe.
          But, nope.
          America continues to destroy ourselves due to fascism.

  3. orinoco says:

    In Germany you can’t buy an Ampera-e at all. You can only rent the car and must give it back after a few year. Reminds much to the EV1. Even car dealers cannot buy one. All Ampera-e belong to Opel. Opel/GM seems to be afraid of “loosing” an Ampera-e.

    1. L'amata says:

      Maybe GM wants all the Amperas Back so that they can CRUSH them all like they did to EV 1’s.. Snuff out electric cars and save their Loyal $$$$$ oil Partners.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yes, that’s right, GM will crush all the Ampera’s, while they simultaneously sell lots of Bolts to Americans and Canadians.

        Is it Tin-Foil-Hat Tuesday already?

  4. Martin T. says:

    What is going on at GM? Do they wish to be in the Bolt EV business or not? I personally think the current management at GM North America who control the manufacturing plant need to be replaced as they appear to be a bunch of nuts in one basket case! They have orders and will not ramp up supply for Europe? Something smells real bad at GM HQ.

    1. Stimpacker says:

      Bold statement: They’re not serious about EV’s.

      30K per year supply contract with LG.

      Even Cruise Automation can’t go the next step. Custom made non-production $100K semi-autonomous Chevy Bolts that look like a science project.

      I don’t blame GM.
      SUVs and pickup trucks are selling like hot cakes.

      1. Martin Winlow says:

        So, why on Earth didn’t they do an electric SUV to begin with rather than an econocar?

        1. menorman says:

          Would’ve been more expensive but harder to make satisfactory.

      2. john Doe says:

        They could have sold 10-14 000 Bolts in Norway by now.. at least.

        They clearly don’t want to sell EVs.
        They just wanted to win a race against Tesla, by offering a long range, cheap EV.
        When it comes to selling this EV.. now that is another thing.

        They should offer the model in two versions too. One with a better interior (and more expensive, more profit).

        GM don’t sell cars in Norway, so the Opel would not steal ICE customers from them either.
        It’s not like a Norwegian EV customers choose a V8 ICE model, if they can not get their hands on an Opel Ampera. They just buy a Zöe or an E-Golf..

        1. mx says:

          The only dealerships in the nation stocked with BOLTS are in California. They only wanted to Stop Tesla Sales. End of Story.
          In other words, this too will be rewarded by big oil.

          1. Dav8or says:

            Is there little oil? Don’t they get to reward GM too? Speaking of that, what is the reward? A gold star or something? An atta boy?

          2. WadeTyhon says:

            “The only dealerships in the nation stocked with BOLTS are in California. ”

            C’mon you’re not even being close to truthful.

            As of 10/22/2017, Within 100 miles of the following cities there are:

            78 in Detroit
            75 in Dallas
            30 in Houston
            35 in Miami
            26 in St Louis
            100 in Denver

            So near these 6 cities alone in non-CARB states there are 350 available – about 7.5% of Bolt EV inventories nationwide. By comparison, i3 volumes nationwide is only about 1,500 right now.

            I’m not gonna bother looking further but add in Austin, Boulder, San Antonio, Atlanta, etc… you’ll find that a pretty large percentage of Bolt inventories are not in California or even CARB states.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          “They could have sold 10-14 000 Bolts in Norway by now.. at least.”

          No, GM could not. GM is not in Norway with the Ampera-e, Opel is. And rightnow, GM makes far more money selling the Bolt EV in the USA while the tax credits last, than shipping production over to Norway where they get hit with import tariffs, etc. and did I mention it’s not GM but Opel?

          So GM will not sell to Opel while they can sell in the USA for more profit. That’s not a surprise. Things may change about halfway through 2018 though, time will tell and of course it depends on what their agreement with Opel looks like to provide the Ampera-e too.

    2. John A Brewer Jr says:

      It may be there maybe more demand for Opel Ampera-e then the Bolt, so what the issue , gm can order more badges for the Opel Ampera-e. It probably a down stream supply of lithium batteries, which puts GM in a poor position, I hope they look at second sources and in house supply side production!

      1. john Doe says:

        LG has not reported any problems to deliver batteries to other companies.
        They are continually expanding their production capabilities.
        I really don’t think that is the problem.

        The problem (read: lack of interest) to supply Opel branded Bolts have been the situation from day one.

        That is really too bad. I’ve talked to people owning Opel Ampera, and we have one at work too. There have been no problems, and people are happy with the product. Some say the interior use cheap materials and the seat could be better. It is still way better then the Opel Combos we have (the old one, not the FIAT based ones).

        They could have sold more of these cars. Especially in Europe. I think a slightly more premium model (seat and interior) would be good for sales and profit too.

        They will lose the customers to other brands. People who plan to buy an EV does not think.. hey… I can not buy this EV – I better buy a gas guzzler in sted.
        They will think about Nissan, BMW, VW, Audi, Renault, Tesla and so on.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Do they wish to be in the Bolt EV business or not?”

      Not.

      From GM’s viewpoint, the primary purpose of the Bolt EV is to generate ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) credits by selling them in the U.S. The wonder isn’t that GM is selling so few in Europe; the wonder is that they’re selling any of them outside the U.S. at all!

      Elon Musk explained GM’s strategy with the Bolt EV, and why its production and sales are so limited:

      https://insideevs.com/elon-musk-talks-carb-zev-credits/

      1. Four Electrics says:

        Were that true, the Bolt would not be sold in all 50 states. Don’t believe everything you read, especially from manipulative egoists.

        GM sold Opel. That is primary reason it is more interested in selling scarce Bolt stock within the US.

        1. mx says:

          It’s also supply constrained in all 49 states, except California.

          1. Dav8or says:

            Yep. Mitigating losses. I genuinely believe GM expected the Bolt to be popular, but it’s been a big flop even though I think it’s great. If you can’t sell them in any great numbers in California, what makes you think they would sell any better in any other state?

            What I’m sure they would like to do is halt all new production and start trucking Bolts from California lots to where ever people might order one, then only build new ones based on actual demand, but I’m sure it’s more complicated than that. Likely they have contractual obligations to adhere to.

            1. WadeTyhon says:

              No, it is not a flop. Even before a single Bolt shipped that they would be producing packs for just over 30,000 Bolt/Amperas for 2017.

              Based on current inventory, monthly production, and sales numbers from North America, Europe, and South Korea… GM will produce over 30,000 Bolts this year just as they expected to.

              ~24,000 will be sold in the US
              ~2,000 will be sold in Canada
              ~1,500 will be sold in other markets

              The year will probably end with a few thousand left in inventory. Based on current sales, it should be just behind the Model S as the best selling Plug-In in the US. I think GM will consider this a successful launch. 😉

              1. john Doe says:

                If they were identical to the Opel Ampera, I’m sure a GM dealer would love to order 6000, and ship them to Norway – and they would already be sold (due to people waiting in line).

                Then when the boss asks the salesperson how the day has been. Well slow at first, but after lunch I sold 6000 cars.. so.. better then average 🙂

                When GM don’t deliver cars to Opel – they say: we’re not really interested in selling EVs. They are basically giving potential customers to the competitors.
                Once these customers buy a Nissan EV, they will most likely buy a Nissan EV the next times as well. GM would have to offer the customers a sweet deal to win them back.

                A former school mate of mine works for an Opel dealer. They used to pay Ampera customers (extra set of tires for free) if they could keep the Ampera in the store for an extra week, so customers could see the car – and see that it was for real.
                When customers were tired of waiting, they tried to make them stay. They have after all no other EV to sell to the customer.

              2. ffbj says:

                It was not a raging success nor was it a horrific nightmare, but they’re not all that gung-ho on the Bolt. Hardly an ad to be see, almost half of dealers won’t carry it.

                A rather lackadaisical launch followed by months of dreary numbers indicates a rather tepid response overall.
                They won’t sell as many as you indicate this year. It’s possibly going to be under 20k, US.

                1. WadeTyhon says:

                  In order to sell under 20,000 this year in the US, Chevy would need to sell less than 2,000 on average for october, november and december. I don’t think that’s at all likely.

                  I am thinking the next 3 months will average around 3,000 a month.

                  If so… that would put yearly US sales at about 23,500. Ill give it a +- of 500 units 😉

          2. WadeTyhon says:

            Within 40 miles of Dallas,TX there are currently 73 Bolt EVs in stock.

            There are 29 Bolts at Classic Chevrolet… 30 at El Dorado Chevrolet… and about 15 between Huffines Chevrolet, Friendly Chevrolet, and Reliable Chevrolet…

            And just out of curiosity, I checked up availability of the i3.

            There are a whopping 18 i3’s currently available… within *500* miles of Dallas right now! 151 Bolt EVs on lots within 500 miles of Dallas. None of which are in California or CARB states.

            So while I think the i3 is a good car, it isn’t a very good argument for you to push people towards an i3… while pushing others away from the Bolt by claiming it isn’t being pushed outside of California.

            1. ffbj says:

              I wonder if that CC “Bitsy” Huffines, or one of his kids. From Mesquite. He used to announce for the rodeo, as a sideline.
              Oodles of Cash.

          3. Bill Howland says:

            “Supply constrained in 49 states.”

            Total nonsense. All the dealerships in lowly, EV-uninterested Buffalo, New York have 20 each. They are short of VOLTS, but the BOLT ev they can’t GIVE away, seems like.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Were that true, the Bolt would not be sold in all 50 states.”

          I did write my comment carefully; I said getting ZEV credits was GM’s “primary purpose” for making and selling the Bolt EV. I didn’t say “only purpose”. Even pure compliance cars are sometimes sold outside CARB states, for marketing reasons. As the person who posts here as “SparkEV” pointed out, GM even sold at least one SparkEV in Mexico. Does that mean the Spark EV isn’t a compliance car? Of course not!

          “Don’t believe everything you read, especially from manipulative egoists.”

          Especially from manipulative Tesla-hating serial FUDsters like “Four Electrics”.

          Also, I’m a long way from believing everything Elon Musk says. In this case, what he said does offer a reasonable explanation for GM’s apparently self-defeating approach to offering (or not) the Bolt EV; it explains why GM is severely limiting shipments to regions where it could sell far, far better, such as Canada, S. Korea, and Europe.

    4. Dav8or says:

      GM doesn’t own Opel anymore. They are now a potential competitor. I’m sure there were contractual obligations to supply Opel short term, but you cannot expect GM to lose money.

      It’s pretty obvious that GM loses a great deal of money on every Bolt they make, so my guess is that they probably do offer them to Opel, but at the price they would need to be to be profitable and that’s not acceptable to Opel/PSA, so no cars get shipped. The Canadians and South Koreans aren’t getting any either.

      GM doesn’t have an Elon Musk. They are taken to task for every loss on the balance sheet by Wall Street analysts. So far, Musk can do no wrong. GM is right to limit their losses, particularly since so far the Bolt has not been all that popular anywhere even though it is absolutely fantastic IMO.

      I’m glad I have mine now. The rest of you can keep on waiting for awesome.

      1. john Doe says:

        Depends on how much they loose for each car.
        If it’s like 4 000 dollars, just add it too the price.
        They would still get 90% of the Norwegian customers waiting in line.
        If it’s 10 grand.. people will start to look for other deals.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Pushy’s Grammar Nazi head says:

          What is the deal with it being so difficult to distinguish between “lose” and “loose”?

          I swear, this blunder is more common on InsideEVs comments than confusing “they’re”, “their” and “there”, or confusing “your” and “you’re”!

          1. john Doe says:

            Probably since it’s my fifth language, and I was sloppy. My brain could not follow the fingers on the keyboard 🙂

            I speak and write Norwegian, German, Dutch, English, Spanish and I’m working on Italian now. It’s almost 15 years since I had English in school. But I was really good in grammar..
            and I went to a university in the US as well..even though most of the classmates came from Asia for one reason or another..

            I for one, like to be corrected when I make errors. Language (and grammar) is a skill that needs constant practice.
            I used to live in Spain for a while – and felt like I followed conversations well. Now I keep forgetting words all the time, and have to rephrace sentences all the time. The same with German.. When I used to live in Germany I watched TV (and just like in Spain they dub everything). Good way to pick up words, phraces and sentence structure.
            Also it is strange. I remember watching an old action movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger with the classic I’ll be back.. or in German Ich komme wieder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-2EaW4L_GM
            The strange thing is that after 6 month you tend to get used to it.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “It’s pretty obvious that GM loses a great deal of money on every Bolt they make…”

        It’s pretty obvious that FUDsters say that about pretty much every new EV that comes along. It’s pretty obvious that they think that helps them fight against the EV revolution, since they repeat it so often!

        But in the real world, I’d say it’s not at all clear that GM actually loses money on the Bolt EV on a unit-cost basis. It is pretty clear that GM makes a far lower profit margin on the Bolt EV as compared to their more popular gasmobile models. It’s understandable that GM would much rather invest more money in those models of cars and light trucks which yield a better profit margin, in preference to something like the Bolt EV which likely has a very slim profit margin.

  5. unlucky says:

    If you really, really wanted to import one, you’d import one and make a type 2 to type 1 adapter. It’s easy.

    I don’t see why it’s worse to not take orders you don’t know you can fill. If you make empty promises you anger your customers.

    Also, it’s odd that insideevs will promulgate the shutdown myth when it’s convenient. The shutdown had nothing to do with demand for the Bolt or the Ampera-e.

    If the issue is profitability, then let Opel jack the price up to cover the costs of importing. I don’t really expect this is the issue. It would be interesting to see what sets the production numbers for the US market. Dealers around here can’t seem to get enough of them. Are they limited in how many they can order or are they afraid the demand will slacken in the future?

    I say that because it hasn’t slackened yet, in fact it still seems to be growing. I keep looking for the day when I see a Bolt in every offered color (Red, Orange, Blue, Black, White, Gray, off-Gray) in the same day. So far I’ve seen 7 Bolts in a day a couple times, but not one of each color. Around here, gray (not off-gray) seems like the least popular color while blue seems to be the most popular.

    Some days there are 3 blue ones in the parking lot I park at at work. The peak in that lot so far has been the 3 blue, 1 red and a black. Although there is a white one that shows up sometimes too, so there is a possibility some day there will be 6 in just my own lot.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      And pay over 50k euros for a car like the Bolt after VAT and shipping? Are you serious?

      1. unlucky says:

        If there’s more demand than supply and you are looking at simply refusing to take orders, why not raise the price?

        It’s not like you will be losing sales by doing so.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “If there’s more demand than supply and you are looking at simply refusing to take orders, why not raise the price?”

          Certainly a reasonable question. It might have something to do with the fact that the European market for the Opel Ampera (the Volt) was crippled by a price roughly double what Americans were paying for the Volt.

          Whatever GM’s marketing strategy with the Bolt/Ampera-e is, it certainly is contrary to the normal rules of supply and demand.

          I wonder if it is, at least in part, an effort or hope by GM that if they offer the Bolt/Ampera-e in Europe in even small numbers, that those thinking about buying some other PEV (such as the Tesla Model 3 or the Leaf) will delay their purchase/ reservation in the hope they can buy an Ampera-e instead.

          1. unlucky says:

            If raising it too much will cripple it then don’t raise it that much.

            But this is just how markets work. If the item is in short supply but you don’t raise the price, someone else will do it for you.

            If you give a dealer 100 customers and 20 cars they will find ways to decide which 20 people get those cars. And they will generally do so using financial criteria. Either direct money (higher prices) or some kind of hard or soft bundling (this guy buys cars from us every year, we want to keep a good customer).

            Remove the dealer and it STILL happens. Which Model Ses were delivered first? The most expensive ones. Which Model 3s have been delivered so far? Only the most expensive ones.

            It’s not all that strange. It happens all the time.

            1. Martin Winlow says:

              Regulations pertaining to importation and homologation in general aside, you buy an adaptor for T1 to T2 (or Vv) here… http://www.evbitz.uk/EVBitz.uk/T2_T1_Cables.html

              1. CHris says:

                That would not help, because it would limit the car to only be charged with 1-phase AC.
                You would not be able to charge it with DC because the inlet in Europe is Typ2 on CCS as well.
                So no solution. One would replace the complete CCS inlet.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  No offense, but its a silly point. Bolt evs and Ampera-e’s world wide can ONLY be charged with single-phase alternating current, 50/60 Hz.

                  If you want to charge faster, Robert Bosch makes several fine DC home fast CCS chargers – the ones they sell in the states have Type 1 CCS. Obviously they make type 2 ccs also, if that is your preference.

                  Obviously ABB and others make plenty of additional CCS facilities.

                  But AC home charging will always be single phase in this car – limited by your particular country’s imballance limitation.

                  Some allow the full 32 amperes. Others have 15, 16 or 20 amp limitations. I have 16, 30 and 32 ampere wall boxes at home, and the BOLT ev charges just fine at 16 amperes in a reasonable length of time for daily use. Its not the ‘severe restriction’ you are making it out to be for the typical European.

                2. unlucky says:

                  You put this response in the wrong place.

                  The car would be limited to one phase charging anyway since that’s all the onboard charger supports.

                  Making a DCFC adapter is electrically easier but sufficiently dangerous that I’d greatly recommend against it.

                  1. Bill Howland says:

                    You’ve already proven your electrical expertise.

                    Let’s assume I have 2 – 30 amp wallboxes (dual chargepoint, etc), and 2 BOLTS show up.

                    The service to the building is 120Y/208 and the first charger is on A-B, and the second charger is on B-C. Assume everything else in the building is off.

                    What is the current on each of the 3 phases? If you guess correctly I’ll ask another question.

          2. D.Zahnd says:

            In Switzerland, apparently they only have 400 allocated for 2017 and 150 for 2018, according to the dealer where I bought mine (due next week! Hopefully). And only fully loaded versions available: you can only choose the color, according to available stock.

            1. mx says:

              So, they raised the price. By only selling the high end model.
              And still “too much” demand.
              Wow, it’s almost as if they should talk to their battery supplier and get more stock, and run a second shift or something.

      2. john Doe says:

        It is cheap to transport a car from the US to Europe.
        I bought an old TransAm once, and the price was just less then a 1000 dollars. For shipping that is..
        That was a few years back, but I don’t think it cost more now. Other shipping prices have not increased.
        I pay the same for a container from China as I did several years back. The introduction of the really huge container ships is probably the reason.

    2. Amperaguy says:

      “If you really, really wanted to import one, you’d import one and make a type 2 to type 1 adapter. It’s easy.”

      There is no european type approval for US version Bolt, so it would be expensive process to get it registered as road legal vehicle, and possibly some modifications would be required.

      1. unlucky says:

        I had presumed that was already overcome before people got to complaining about the power inlet.

        If really the inlet was what was in the way you would get it out of the way. I expect that there are other big things in the way and the inlet issue is a minor one.

  6. Pet says:

    I think the problem is the battery supply

  7. JyChevyVolt says:

    The only manufacturers you can trust are Tesla, Nissan, and maybe Hyundai/Kia. The rest are full of BS.

    My Volt is the first and last car I’ll buy from GM.

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      Do you live in Europe? North America? Or elsewhere?

      If you’re in the US or Canada, GM is one of the few companies that isn’t full of BS. Hyundai/Kia plug-ins sell in tiny numbers here.

      Of course, with GM out of Europe, it is safe to say that the Ampera-E will not live up to its potential. Opel/PSA will have to get them from GM.

      Hopefully next year the allocation is increased for overseas. US/Canada is getting all the Plug-In love from GM right now. Europe, South Korea, even China get very small numbers of plug-ins.

      1. JyChevyVolt says:

        NA.

        I got the Volt in 2012 because it was the only EV that could handle my 100 mile commute.

        The reason why I didn’t get the Bolt EV was because of GM. They’re such a two-face, dirty corporation; makes me sick that I’m driving their car.

        If Hyundai sells the Kona EV in all 50 States then I’ll get rid of the volt and buy the Kona EV.

        If Hyundai does the same s***, like the Ioniq Electric (CA only), then I’ll buy the new leaf.

        1. ffbj says:

          Your personnel experience with GM is not out of the ordinary, nor is your assessment of them.

        2. mx says:

          I remember calling my local GM dealership about the Volt:
          “We sold our Volt, can you believe it?” and hung up on me.

        3. WadeTyhon says:

          “The reason why I didn’t get the Bolt EV was because of GM. They’re such a two-face, dirty corporation; makes me sick that I’m driving their car.”

          In the past, absolutely. GM in the early 2000s was pretty awful. But I dunno what you think they have done recently that is so awful it makes you sick.

          As far as EVs go, who is trying to sell more? In the US and Canada, GM is still ahead in plug-in sales… Tesla, Nissan and BMW have yet to catch up.

          Kia/Hyundai doesn’t even try to sell their products. The Soul EV is supposedly on sale here in Texas. Last I checked, 3 dealers in the state were carrying it with only 1 or 2 in stock each. There were 80 Bolt EVs within 100 miles of me as of just last week.

          I would advise not rewarding Kia until they take the US Plug-In market seriously. So if you truly cannot stand GM, go with a Nissan or Tesla!

          I wouldn’t turn away anyone from a Nissan Leaf, although I personally prefer the Bolt or Model 3.

          Just don’t get your hopes up for Kia/Hyundai. They continue to dissapoint on the EV front.

    2. unlucky says:

      Tesla is actively “unselling” the Model 3. Musk said so.

      But when Opel does it, time to be alarmed it seems.

      1. Didier Puzenat says:

        Tesla “unsells” model 3 to sell more model S, not big trucks… A signifiant difference.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Tesla is actively ‘unselling’ the Model 3. Musk said so.

        “But when Opel does it, time to be alarmed it seems.”

        It seems a false equivalency is almost the first refuge of the serial Tesla basher.

        Tesla is anti-selling the Model 3 because despite all its efforts, it can’t possibly ramp up production fast enough to meet current demand.

        GM is limiting production of the Bolt EV — and as a consequence, Opel is anti-selling it — because GM doesn’t want to sell EVs that will cut into their own more profitable sales of gasmobiles.

        One of these things is not like the other!

    3. menorman says:

      You’d trust Hyundai over GM even though they’re having the exact same problem supplying the Ioniq EV?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It’s not even remotely the same problem. GM chose a deliberate strategy of limiting production of the Bolt EV far below demand, and early indications are GM has already decided not to ramp up production any at all for next year.

        By contrast, Hyundai was reportedly caught unawares by unexpectedly high demand for the Ioniq Electric. That wasn’t a strategy; it was a mistake. Hyundai is reportedly scrambling to increase production ASAP.

        In fact, it’s going to be a interesting test case to see how fast Hyundai can crank up production. How fast can they significantly increase battery cell supply?

  8. Mark.ca says:

    So Tesla can’t make enough cars to cover its demand fast enough and GM can make the cars but doesn’t want to…which side do you want to be on? Sad!

    1. JayTee says:

      I’d rather be able to make the cars.

    2. menorman says:

      It’s not GM’s demand, so why would they care? It almost certainly comes down to Opel/PSA since they probably have to pay GM for the cars, which means that they’re liable to be losing money on each Ampera-e sold.

    3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      They are both “on the same side” – can’t make profit on mass market battery car sales and only hope to ramp up some time in the future when battery prices will go down somehow.

      Rhetoric is different, but essence is the same.

    4. mx says:

      The Tesla model 3 assembly line is NOT up to speed yet.
      The GM Bolt assembly line IS up to speed.

      GM isn’t filling demand.
      GM management is the problem.
      You can call a supplier and double your order.
      You can run a second shift, you can pay overtime for a month.
      You can fill demand.
      If you want to.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        That’s right! I guess some people just refuse to see it. I hope GM will change their approach and embrace ev eventually.

  9. Bonaire says:

    If this were Tesla, this would push up the stock price by $20 and call out “sold out for 2018”. GM should do the same.

    1. Mint says:

      There’s a difference between sold out after 500k reservations and sold out after less than 10k.

      GM and LG have no high volume aspirations for the Ampera-e in the foreseeable future. It’s a PR car.

  10. PatMc says:

    What is so hard to understand? GM paid billions to dump Opel onto Peugeot.
    Opel is now a competitor to General Motors.

    1. Didier Puzenat says:

      You are not “competitors” when you are not on the same market.

  11. Paul K says:

    I speculate that GM’s purpose in making the Bolt was to show the world and more importantly the shareholders, that they are capable of producing a viable electric car that people will want, and can ramp up production when competition from other makers forces them to.

    In the meanwhile might as well make money hand over fist with big piggy SUVs and pickups.

  12. x says:

    the same deal is in canada

    the reason is obvious GM does not want to sell too many but just to get good PR + credits in carb states. It’s logically obvious

  13. Bill Howland says:

    Editor note: The car in the “still” has a bowtie on it.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      …you noticed too, +1 to you Bill, (=

      Sidenote: We do not produce the Opel videos/aren’t responsible for the lead image, so not much we can do to fix that, heeh

  14. Don Zenga says:

    Now, that Opel is handed over to Peugeot-Citroen, there is no use making Ampera’s for Opel. Time to start building Chevy brand again in EU with Bolt as the 1st vehicle.

    1. ffbj says:

      GM bailed on Europe. Maybe you did not get the memo. Unlike MacArthur, they will not return.

  15. bitguru says:

    “2018 model year … production starts December 18th”
    Is this old news? It’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      I don’t think you would call it “old or new” news, as have known internally for awhile, but it is perhaps the first time we have put the date to print…it’s just one of those hundreds of mostly useless factoids that float around the office, lol.

      I just added that bit into Mark’s piece to round it out a little when I saw the 2018 model year mentioned.

  16. silversod says:

    What a mess, I thought these places employed people who had their ‘finger on the pulse’ so to speak.
    Surely they could see the change was coming years ago to get ready for EV cars.

    Ampera-E would sell like hot cakes if it was made here.

    The PSA group now own two Vauxhall car plants in the UK that are not being used to their full potential, Build the Ampera-E here.
    Pull your finger out PSA.

    1. Ed says:

      Unfortunately PSA can’t do that as part of GM’s sale of Opel-Vauxhall was an agreement not to copy GM’s vehicles.

      If GM had been forward thinking they would have excluded EVs from the sale to PSA and brought the Bolt to Europe as the Bolt. From the bare specs we’ve seen from PSA for their next EVs, the Bolt still seems better.

      1. silversod says:

        Ah! Right, I thought when PSA bought the European side of GM that it included the licence to build the Ampera-E (Bolt) here.

  17. Peter says:

    GM Bolt is best value EV at the moment.

    1. Spoonman. says:

      Unless you don’t pay enough federal taxes to use the $7500 purchase credit; GM is only offering leases that keep the credit for themselves.

      1. Ziv says:

        Go to a different dealer if they don’t give you the credit. Some try to keep the credit and others give it, but you have to shop around.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          It may be only one real option actually – automaker’s own finance arm, if it gets exclusive discounts from automaker.

          Autodealers may move numbers from one lease agreement line to another, offer their own discounts, this or that, but ultimately they will not sell for $7500 extra discount. Autodealer only gets what financial institution gives, and not so many financial institutions finance auto leases in the US.

      2. menorman says:

        Then you lease and get the dealer to pass it on in a lease. Then buy out the lease a couple months later if you really want/need to own it.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          Go to a GM dealer and see for yourself. If you lease a gasser you get about $4k in dealer discounts but if you go fro the evs you get a max of about $7k. Why is that? The gasser can be discounted but the ev can’t evan get the full fed credit? Screw them!

      3. mx says:

        Please try a BMW dealership.
        They do put the fed credit into the lease, and drop the list price.
        You may find a Lease of a BMW i3 REX will be cheaper than a Bolt.
        I did.

        And the suspension, interior materials and ride are much nicer.

      4. WadeTyhon says:

        Out of curiosity (since we will be replacing our Volt with a Model 3) does a Tesla lease offer any of the $7500 in discount? I don’t think they did when we were looking into the Model S.

        Eventually youll see more discounting on the Bolt. But the Bolt is not priced to lose money.

        And right now they aren’t as interested in practically giving them away like Fiat or Ford is. And they aren’t trying to get rid of old inventory like Nissan is.

        1. Mark.ca says:

          As far as i know they always did, it’s right there on their website now. They substract it along with the gas savings to give you the real cost.

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            If so that’s great! Of course by the time we get our model 3 the rebate may be reduced…

            Last time we were looking at the S was in 2016. The Tesla site said the $7,500 was factored in but it didn’t seem to be.

            I had found a few articles and forum threads saying that were also confused about this… and that maybe it was being applied toward a higher residual value (This is what GM Financial is doing with Bolt leases from what I understand) to lower the monthly payments.

            https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/leasing-where-does-the-7500-fed-tax-credit-go.55835/

      5. unlucky says:

        Around here you can lease the car for $6K down (ugh) and $200/month for 36 months.

        That’s $13,200 for 36 months. The car would be $37K before rebate, $30K after.

        Paying $13K to have a $37.4K car with awful resale value for 3 years doesn’t seem that bad to me.

    2. ffbj says:

      The 2018 leaf is probably the best value bev, though is many respects, not looks, not interior, not autopilot, the Bolt is better, but not in value.

      Value has a specific meaning.

      1. menorman says:

        No, IoniqEV lease deal is probably the best value EV since it offers unlimited mileage for the duration of the lease and a refund on the first 50k miles worth of electricity usage. It also has a faster DCFC capability than the Bolt, though finding stations that allow it to use its full potential is of course still a rarity.

      2. PatMc says:

        Do you pay more for performance?
        Does it have value?
        If not, how come the P100D costs more?

      3. mx says:

        The Leaf, by a large margin has a better interior than the Bolt.
        And probably rides better as well.
        The new 2018 Leaf is a real challenger to the Bolt.
        I should outsell it 2 to 1.

        1. CCIE says:

          If only the Leaf had a liquid TMS….

          1. ffbj says:

            It is really the Achilles heel of the Leaf.
            If you put the best features of the two cars together, then you would have a contender.

  18. TA says:

    Mask just fired 400 employees due to the poor launch of model 3. what is the telling story here?

    1. CCIE says:

      Probably more than 400. But, a lot of it was union busting (a smart move in my book).

      1. ffbj says:

        That, and if you made a lot of money or had any blemish on your record.
        One guy said he showed up late a couple of times, and it was hasta la vista, baby. I believe him.

        Captain Blye and Musk have a bit in common.
        He is a hard taskmaster.

  19. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    Opel doesn’t belong to GM anymore, what else would you expect.

  20. Jamws says:

    Quick, idle the factory, nobody wants Bolt EVs…right, GM?!

    1. ffbj says:

      Mostly, hardly any cars made by GM as they have been shutting down production all over the place with sales dropping for months down around 30% for the year.

      They got a bit of bump due replacement vehicles after the hurricanes, but things are not looking good in the car sales department, including the Bolt.
      The shine has gone off cars in the U.S.

      1. James says:

        Fact Check:

        Oct. 3rd GM reported a 12% increase in sales for September year over year. Commercial sales up 25% and military sales up 38% Also GM reported they had gained commercial market share for 14 consecutive months. Domestic car and truck sales lead by Chevrolet = 17% and GMC = 8%…respectfully.

        GM also said global sales were up also.

        Source – NASDAQ

        1. taser54 says:

          If you’re not fact checking for all of 2017 to date, you’re not fact checking what ffbj posted.

  21. ffbj says:

    It makes sense. GM dropped all it’s operations in Europe after losing money there for 20 years. The Bolt makes GM very little in any money certainly not as the Opel, so why make them? They would rather make trucks & big SUV’s. Still you can’t completely ignore evs as they are the coming way people will transport themselves, and they can still get ZEV credits for them in the U.S.

    Ford basically just watched as their cars sales plummeted offering no compelling ev and look at what is happening to them.
    Without the F-150 they would be dead.

  22. Jim J Fox says:

    USA NEEDS a realistic tax on “gas” plus other disincentives for ICE’s; this is a policy issue that cannot be left to the ‘market’ which is hugely distorted by ‘externalities’ to the benefit of Big Oil. Zero chance with El Trumpo in charge.

    1. PatMc says:

      GM does not sell oil. Neither does the US government.

      Cars don’t run on uranium, so I doubt the Executive Branch of the US government really has much effect on EV sales.

      Perhaps if the last adminstration would have pushed for nuclear cars, we would see some actual action by the executive branch.

      1. mx says:

        The oil industry is the most heavily subsidized industry in the USA. 100 Times more subsidy than solar or wind.

        You can thank your “free market” republicans, getting paid by big oil comes before better policy for the nation.

        So, the pollution industry is Funded by Your Tax Dollars.
        You make the oil industry Profitable.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Yes, but a politician proposing drastic raise of gas taxes in the US would not stay 5 minutes in the office, and it has nothing to do with Trump.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        True. It All about getting paid and job security.

  23. Assaf says:

    I call BS on all the profitability arguments.

    The price of cars in Europe is much higher than the US, more than offsetting production/shipping overhead.
    Heck, it was profitable for some street reseller to buy our 2012 Leaf at auction in 2014, and ship it across the US and then across the Atlantic to Norway.

    Also,
    – GM’s EV incentives in the US only have ~1 year to go tops (closing in on 160k sales out of the 200k quota), and with the current government future is uncertain.
    – US auto consumers are finicky and unstable w.r.t. EVs

    After all the investment, it is mind-boggling that GM is not spreading its EV eggs across more baskets, at a time where overseas EV markets are shooting up and there’s no equivalent competitor to the Bolt for the coming 1-2 years.

    1. wavelet says:

      I’m starting to suspect this is a victim of the deal for GM to sell Opel to PSA.

      I’d assumed part of that deal was making sure GM would continue to supply the Bolt for Opel for at least several years (say, 3-4, the usual run of a new model), as well as the attendant support in spare parts, training etc.
      What if they didn’t — it would have made the deal too complex, or GM can’t/won’t guarantee prices for all the drivetrain components from LG? GM may have wanted a sell-it-and-forget it approach to the sale. If that’s the case, the Bolt may end up being a bad consumer choice in Europe (it will be supported with service as long as legally required, but not a day more, and resale prices will be depressed with no followup models).

  24. speedy says:

    Gm will spread it’s EV across more market’s it just wanted be all about these Chevrolet bolt. In these next year in a half these will be a Buick crossover and Cadillac wagon both all electric, with a new chassis batteries design, with more range. Gm doesn’t even have opel anymore, so how or why would they sale electric car’s to them?

    1. unlucky says:

      I can’t imagine that wagon will ever come out. Cadillac cancelled their only wagon a few years back. BMW isn’t even making plug-in hybrid wagons.

      The time of the wagon is over. It’s all about cute utes now.

  25. cocobird says:

    That sounds like PSA taking control of Opel. PSA is absolutely not an EV pusher, to say the least, they wanna sell their stinky diesel for as long at they can.

  26. Terawatt says:

    Compare and contrast with today’s headline: https://insideevs.com/gm-ceo-question-demand-electric-cars/

    So on the one hand they cannot cover the demand, but at the same time they won’t increase production because they question demand.

    Real honest, GM.

  27. Scoty says:

    This vehicle and the inexpensive Zoe are selling well because of incentives and Europe buying back petrol/ Diesel cars. Europe really wants to help the environment and save the world’s air.

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