Opel Ampera Orders Surpass 7,000 units

GM’s European subsidiary, Opel, has found the going tough in recent years. Struggling with high labor costs in its native country Germany and limited opportunity for expansion against such rivals as Volkswagen and Ford, Opel has finally received some good news, at least on the EV front.

Besides winning the coveted European Car of the Year Award at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the Opel Ampera, is now doing better than projected on the sales front, with orders having passed the 7,000 mark. According to Opel’s e-mobility launch director Enno Fuchs, “this news shows us that our sales target of 10,000 units for 2012 is well within reach.”

The scenario contrasts with the Ampera’s cousin, the Chevy Volt which has suffered from lower than expected demand in the U.S., not helped by highly publicized battery fire investigations, resulting in the car becoming, what General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson dubbed “a political punching bag.”

Nonetheless, with GM essentially re-launching the Volt, which includes a plan of meeting demand rather than pegging output to a specific target (like the 10,000 units originally projected last year), the company has ordered a five-week production shutdown of both the Ampera and Volt to “maintain our proper inventory levels,” according to a company spokesman.

The closure was mainly due to U.S. issues over the Volt, but at this juncture, it appears things for the Ampera are still off to a more positive overall reception.

Plugincars via Autoguide

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  • Roy_H

    “As a result, depending on how demand fares for the remainder of the year, it could still prove challenging for the Ampera to meet its 2012 sales goal. Nevertheless, at this juncture, it appears things are still off to a good start.”

    7000 already sold, and you say it could be challenging to sell 3000 more in the next 9 months? Unless there is a huge Republican led anti-Ampera campaign in Europe, I think 3000 should be an easy target. I hope the sales are much more than that as the Hamtramck plant can produce 5000 a month on a single shift.

    Since Americans don’t want the Volt, GM should concentrate on selling in other countries where the demand is higher.

  • Jeff Cobb

    Roy_H – I agree with you. My fault for letting that one sentence slip by about it being challenging. It’s been removed. Even last year with so many Ampera pre-orders, GM’s Euro chief Nick Reilly said he was thinking they might ask for more than the first year’s allotment of Amperas, and expressed hope of getting them. So far, despite the closure of the plant mainly due to Volt issues, the Ampera appears well on target, and so we shall see.

  • Tim Eum

    Republicans are for high mileage, energy efficient cars that help us reduce dependency on foreign oil. What Republicans object to is making the taxpayers subsidize the cars instead of letting the free market dictate success or failure. Let the car makers who can make cars that people will buy be profitable without making taxpayers bail them out, provide subsidies, give tax breaks, imposs tariffs or impose burdensome regulations. Let the best cars win without governmental interference. I suspect that Democratic support for “green” cars isn’t so much that they want more “green” cars but are instead political payouts to supporters who happen to profit from “green” cars. Tax dollars should not be used this way.

  • Roy_H

    Tim Eum: Well, of course I strongly disagree. GM was struggling to regain market share in late 1990’s because of years of being run by the bean counters who put profits ahead of quality. GM made a dramatic shift to become the highest quality, but it takes years to accomplish and even more years to reverse a bad reputation. Then comes along the financial melt-down sparked by the housing sub-prime loans. This was because of irresponsible financial decisions from Wall Street and banks. GM and other companies got caught in the depression and went bankrupt due largely for reasons beyond their control. It was the government that removed controls from the banking/financial industry that led to the meltdown and from this point of view were responsible for GM’s bankruptcy. The auto industry employes hundreds of thousands and a collapse of GM would have made the unemployment already high much worse. The government took a long hard look at GM and Chrysler, before deciding to bail them out, as they wanted to be assured these companies could be viable in the future on their own and not require continuous government money to survive. They concluded that GM was turning itself around (but needed a symbolic change in leadership) and made the right decision to save this critical industry.

    In your ideal world of survival of the fittest with no government intervention, we would never have the high safety in cars we enjoy today or the dramatically reduced pollution. By making laws about safety, and promoting ultra clean transportation, they level the playing field as automakers do not have to compete directly against others that do not offer the same safety or low pollution. Things like the EV tax break do not choose a particular company as a winner, so still allow the free market to compete while still pushing automakers in the desired direction.

  • Tyler West

    Is it just me, or does the volt look like a piece of crap compared to the ampera? I know its the same hardware, but I would rather drive the ampera around.

  • Stan Smart

    I agree that there is a slight improvement in the exterior styling of the Amra compared to the Volt.
    I also think the center white plastic console in the Volt with it’s “Chiclets” buttons looks silly & cheap.
    Hopefully, the next design cycle will improve these?

  • dutchinchicago

    I own a Volt and I am amazed how many positive comments I am getting. Almost every time when I park somewhere someone makes a comment about it or at least gives a thumbs up.

    If I plug it in in a public place there are almost lines forming of people wanting to ask questions.

    Even at traffic lights I get people in cars waiting next to me asking me questions.

    My Volt does not have the white plastic console you are talking about and it looks actually pretty good.

    I and apparently lots of other people think the Volt is a good looking car.

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  • greg45

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