Opel Ampera On Its Way to Outselling Chevy Volt For Year One

The Volt’s Euro siblings, the Ampera variants, are on track to surpass first-year Volt sales.

This news for the extended-range electric Opel/Vauxhall twins may come as little surprise, but as you’ll recall, GM missed its 10,000-unit target last year after the federal battery investigation and American politics were blamed on slowing momentum to 7,761 units sold.

The Amperas are just being introduced and to date have over 7,000 orders. Of these 60 percent are from fleet customers, and the Detroit News reported that Enno Fuchs, e-mobility launch director for Adam Opel AG, said it will be no sweat topping 10,000 Amperas by year’s end.

“We are quite sure that our sales target of 10,000 units (in 2012) is within reach,” Fuchs wrote in an email to the publication.

We’ve been hearing similar things from European GM executives since last year, and even if things for the Volt were off to a rocky start here, the Amperas and European Chevrolet-badged Volts are being comparatively better received.

No doubt it has partly to do with high fuel prices there, and that the Volt has already passed a gauntlet in its home country further proving to progressive Europeans – particularly deeper-pocketed fleet buyers – that the car is a safe bet.

Also not hurting the situation, the Volt/Ampera was recently named the first American car to receive European Car of the Year, and – although priced like a modest luxury car – it is taking sales from competitors, including diesels, even in some countries where no tax credits exist, but a VAT tax does.

Months ago there was some talk of asking GM for more than the first year’s Ampera allocation, so we shall see whether this is deemed feasible in months to come.

The Ampera sells for 41,900 Euros (about $55,300) and it is noteworthy that from the beginning GM has invested in more Voltec variants in Europe than it has in America.

In Europe you can choose between an Ampera or Volt, whereas in the States, there’s just the Volt. Perhaps we should look closer at European news for test mule sitings or other hints or indications about the second-generation Volt?

Meanwhile, U.S. Volt sales are picking up now that its second selling year is underway, and GM will sell more than 10,000, having delivered 3,915 year to date through March, and more of these were individual consumer sales.

Detroit News


  • @bobbleheadguru

    Translating “orders” to sales may be a challenge. Let us see what happens as Opel Amperas start selling for real.

    At this point, both Ampera and Volts should sell very well.

  • Mark Brooks

    Its not just the current hostile climate in the US for EVs, its the north American market place that is the core of the problem. Sales in Europe are great, and America is picking up, but we will need to wait until about six months after the November election to see if the volt has legs in America. Not that it really matters to the car itself or the technology, GM needs to continue to focus its products on a global marketplace. America, while still a major purchaser of autos should no longer be GMs primary focus. China, India, a renewed Europe, this is where GMs cutting edge designs and efforts need to be focused. The new GM will live or Die with its global sales and overseas customers. These order numbers simply reflect that.

  • MS

    Sales in Europe are not Great, the Q1 of 2012 is below 7% comparing to the last year Q1. This first quarter was the worst first quarter since 1998.

    But even with this European sales, there are a lot of GM advertisement to Ampera. Which for sure will help sales.

  • dutchinchicago

    From the linked article:
    “As for supply to Europe and the UK, even though GM’s EREVs are only just now going on sale, Reilly said there will not be enough of them. “

    I am really confused why they shut down production.

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