• Jun 1, 2010
Opel Ampera – Click above for high-res image gallery

Due to an old-school system used in China that requires automakers to file patents or risk having vehicles copied by others, we've learned that the Chevrolet Volt may very well debut in the world's largest automotive market as a Buick model and not one bearing the Chevy or Opel badge. When General Motors filed its patent for China, it submitted the Voltec-powered Opel Ampera and not the Chevy Volt, indicating that the version coming to China will definitely not bear a Golden Bowtie. So why not an Opel then? Well, Opel has virtually no name recognition in China, leaving the obvious choice of branding the Voltec-powered vehicle as a Buick, GM's best performing brand over there.

Perhaps it only makes sense that the Ampera will be sold under the Buick name in China as various other Opel products have been rebranded as Buicks once they've reached the Chinese mainland. The Opel Astra transformed into the Buick Excelle and the Insignia switched over to the Buick Regal in China. So what will the Opel Ampera become once it reaches China early next year? Will it simply be the Buick Ampera, or something else altogether? Should we start a naming contest on this one?

For what it's worth, assuming that there will be a Chinese Buick Volt, it will become the fifth Voltec model, joining the 2011 Chevy Volt, Opel/Vauxhall Ampera and Holden Ampera, all of which will initially be produced at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan. Now we're just waiting for the Voltec-powered Daewoo model for the Korean market so that GM can call it a done deal.



Photos Sam Abuelsamid / Copyright ©2009 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: The Tycho]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Makes perfect sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No brainer. Buick Electra.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow! Totally agree, couldn't be a more fitting name.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. Duh.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They may as well announce plans to release it for sale in every country on earth - because they have not planned to make enough of them to make a difference.
      Even a rain-check ain't gonna help you if they simply aren't building enough to meet demand.
      And if the reverse turns out to be true - that supply in the numbers they've given DOES exceed demand, then they have even bigger problems.

      If GM can show the ability to produce the car in quantity and make money at it - then it will matter.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Buick Ohmega
        • 4 Years Ago
        I see what you did there...
      • 4 Years Ago
      It will STILL be copied by the Chinese.

      I like the Opel version so much better btw. Looks like a cheetah with those eyes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Looks kinda like a panda bear to me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "It will STILL be copied by the Chinese."

        Ha ha, that's what I was thinking. I understand we have to play by their rules and filing a patent is a no-brainer but its basically like they are saying "You better file a patent (and pay us some extra money, probably), or else you'll see knockoffs in six months as opposed to three years." I guess getting a little breathing room from the knock-off artists is really all you can hope for in that crazy country.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Ampera looks better than the Volt.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It makes sense for the Volt to be the Buick in China. It'll be interesting to see the waterfall like grill on the Ampera. And since the Chinese gov't just announced incentives to buy hybrids it might be a good thing...

      http://green.autoblog.com/2010/05/28/china-makes-us-jealous-by-offering-huge-incentives-to-green-car/

      • 4 Years Ago
      Quick Point of fact... Chevy is now GM's top growing brand in China. They may be making the Volt a Buick simply to justify the higher price as Chevy's are priced lower than the Buicks. The only reason why the Volt is a Chevy here is because Chevy is normally #1 or #2 best selling name plate in the country

      http://www.carfanatics.org/viewtopic.php?t=5312&f=100
      • 4 Years Ago
      Buick Shock
      Buick Watt
      Buick Jolt
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since China is largest automotive market and on pace to be world largest auto manufacturer, it would be smart move if GM started focusing more on this market which has been one bright spot for this company.
      • 4 Years Ago
      K. Soo can we test drive them yet? Any of the five volt based models? Hell, how about just the volt?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm wondering IF and WHEN Government Motors will ever sell a Volt in the USA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Since the program's inception they've been saying November of this year... I don't quite understand why people are ragging on them for not getting the vehicle to production months ahead of schedule.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is easy. Buick Foxconn.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or the Buick Watt?
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