Opel Says It's Pleased With Ampera Launch

There had been reports not many weeks ago that General Motors was holding back European deliveries of the Opel Ampera until issues in North America surrounding its sister vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, were resolved.

Well, the reports of a federal investigation into battery safety were settled, and last week Opel announced customer deliveries have begun of the extended-range electric vehicle.

The company says it is approaching 6,000 European orders, is well on track in its (conservative first-year) sales goals, and is taking sales away from premium brands.

“Our first deliveries are running smoothly and I’m pleased to confirm that our sales target of 10,000 units for 2012 is on track,” said Enno Fuchs, Opel’s e-mobility launch director. “We’re very happy that our European customers can now drive our revolutionary Ampera.”

Opel is apparently also happy that sales of the Ampera represent a “premium brand conquest” as clients transfer loyalties to the American-produced, environmentally friendly vehicle.

“The majority of Ampera retail customers previously owned top premium brand cars and are making the switch to the Ampera and Opel because they want to be the first to use such cutting-edge technology,” Opel said.

A similar phenomenon occurred last year among high per-capita earning first adopters of the Volt in the U.S., but in Europe, Opel notes the majority of Ampera clients have been fleet or business customers.

Last August, Opel chief Nick Reilly said he was already hoping to be allowed to import more than only 10,000 units in 2012, and that around 75 percent of Ampera pre-order customers were fleet buyers. This latter assertion Opel reiterated this month, mentioning some of its top fleet accounts.

“These include big names such as Lease Plan, ALD and Europcar,” Opel said. “A number of big global brands have placed orders and further showcase their environmental commitment by having Amperas in their fleet.”

For now the vehicles are being imported from GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, although if success continues, GM is looking to produce Opel and similar Vauxhall-badged Amperas and Chevy Volts closer to their point of consumption.

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  • TopGear 16

    I would buy a Volt if it looked like the Ampera. Heck sell the Ampera here as a Volt 2.0 and find a way to make the back seat hold three adults.

  • Roy_H

    Glad to hear some good news. Since sales in the US are in the dumps, the production can be increased for countries that actually want this incredible car for some other use than a political punching bag.

  • Chris Bare

    The Volt doesn’t look *bad*, but it is a mystery why the U.S. car doesn’t look more like this. It looks too average considering the fact that it has a fairly high price point (it looks like an average car, and costs like this version looks; not a ridiculous price, by any stretch, but definitely expensive enough that its aesthetics should be tuned up).

  • James Davis

    GM wants to stay with them accepting the responsibility for killing the electric car in America; that is the purpose of the “plain jane” $450 billion dollar Volt. You will never see a ‘a well designed sought after’ electric or hybrid vehicle come from GM and aimed for the U.S. They even coined the phrase ‘range anxiety’ to scare people away from electric vehicles and even provided an incredible low range battery for the electric motor of the Volt. The Volt is not an extended range electric; it is an extended range ICE and that extended range is less than 40 miles.

  • Riggs

    Considering I personally travel only 20-30 miles a day to and from work/other, and would like to have the security of a PHEV with gas range extended capabilities, I am happy there is a car on the market with an American car manufacturers name tagged on it. Also, I am sure GM positioned and marketed themselves quite accurately for their target market, while also trying to reach out to the broader public.

    Not everyone has the money or knowledge to just run and pick-up an all electric vehicle. Baby steps are necessary. Now stop being a negative nancy, and try focusing that energy on doing something productive.

  • Stan Smart

    I agree, the Opal exterior looks way better than the VOLT! Interesting how minor design changes can effect the overall look of a car.

  • Anonymous

    I like this car better than the volt

  • Blonda

    I like how this Opel looks like! It’s very elegant and in the same time very sporty! It’s awesome!
    Piese Dezmembrari

  • greg45

    I am definitely such an amazing fan of this car. I see that a lot of orders are coming in for this car. I just love the design and see this car selling a lot in the future. Pallet Racking Vancouver