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Demand for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid vehicle in the U.S. has been up and down over the car's first 16-odd months, but executives at General Motors' Opel division in Europe are saying that the Ampera, the Volt's European twin, is getting some good attention.

The Ampera has received more than 7,000 orders, leading Opel executives to believe that the Ampera will hit its 2012 sales target of 10,000 units, website Plug In Cars is reporting, citing Enno Fuchs, Opel's e-mobility launch director.

Opel started shipping Amperas to customers last month, saying that most of those owners previously owning high-end cars from automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. General Motors is hoping the Ampera will be better received in Europe than the Volt has been here in the States, where it has become a political lightning rod. Earlier this month, GM said it would shut down Volt production for five weeks – starting this week – in order to thin-out dealer inventory of the car. And last year, GM missed its sales goal of 10,000 units, selling just 7,671 units. GM makes both the Volt and the Ampera at the same plant in Hamtramck, MI.

Still, the Volt showed signs of more life last month when the model moved 1,023 units, up from 603 vehicles in January. The Volt and Ampera were also recently named the 2012 European Car of the Year. Last October, Opel bumped the Ampera's 2012 sales target to at least 10,000 from 8,000 after Opel had received more than 6,000 paid reservations.


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  • 50 Comments
      Brian D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Food for thought. The equivalent American price right now for a gallon of gasoline in some European countries. Italy $9.04/gallon Norway $9.77/gallon Turkey $11.64/gallon
        superchan7
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian D
        Relatively weak US$ skews that a little, but the fact is still there. US gas remains "not that expensive" by world standards.
      scott3
      • 2 Years Ago
      In Euorpe the factors are not just gas prices but also the fact there parting is difficult in many areas and finding a spot to recharge a full electic could be even more difficult. The gas engine will let them buzz around town and recharge at home on electric and still be able to drive some distance and not have to worry where to charge or how long it will take. It is a car someone in france etc could drive to the coast and back home in one day.. The key with the Volt is it will get you there and back in one day when the Leaf may or may not depending how far it is. The key with the
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just like the smart car, its a flavor of the month toy for the rich.
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        I was just in Clinton, NC yesterday, a small town about 1 hour south of Raleigh, and was surprised to see not one, but two different Smarts on the same day.
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        wow..there is a new idiot on AB
        Shiftright
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        Pointless comment is pointless
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let's hear it for GM , Michigan and the UAW! I'm seeing more and more Volts around Atlanta. Besides, it sure looks better than a Camry!
        Reece Lightning
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        really? the UAW?
          imoore
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Reece Lightning
          I think Bill was just kidding about the UAW. But, of course he's from Buckhead. That's one part of Atlanta I choose to stay away from.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        You don't *need* a charging station. A full charge in a Volt only takes 10 hours from a typical 110VAC US outlet - easily doable overnight for most people. In Europe, it would take even less time, as their typical outlet is 220VAC.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @axiomatik
          [blocked]
          Jerry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @axiomatik
          Its like their standard charger is a level 2 that we have to pay $2000 to have installed! Makes it that much more appealing for them.
        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        Wow. You are so right. I did the math on some other things too. Turns out buying a new car is more expensive than buying used. Buying a Mercedes takes longer to pay off than buying a Honda. I guess nobody will ever be able to justify either of those then, eh? And then there is the cost of education... well you wouldn't know anything about that.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      nsxrules
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM needs to shelve this car if a meassly 7K orders (likely 80% of them won't even take ownership) is something to celebrate.
        imoore
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nsxrules
        You need to realize that Europeans are more acceptable to alternative energy sources (Diesel, pure eletric, and hybrids) and different types of vehicles than us Americans. We still prefer our gigantic SUV's and crossovers. 7,000 pre-orders is a big feat to achieve, especially outside North America.
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      I see 7,000 other cars on the road between Volt sightings.
      ferps
      • 2 Years Ago
      With substantially higher gas prices and shorter commutes, Europe is the obvious market for electrics and plugin hybrids. I don't know why GM didn't sell it there first.
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Opel does look better...
      TrueDat
      • 2 Years Ago
      this is interesting.. so that begs the question, why hasn't the volt been as successful as GM hoped? are there just more subsidies for the Opel? that would be my guess...
        TrueDat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TrueDat
        wow, i get a thumbs down for posing a question??? you people on here are sooo cool...
        dax777
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TrueDat
        The reason is the Volt has become a political bunching bag by the media talking heads. The down play the Volt every chance they get regardless of great a vehicle the Volt actually is. I own a Volt and love the vehicle. Traded in my Prius after testing driving the Volt for two days, no comparison. The Europeans aren't influenced by American talking heads and see the Volt as the tech marvel that it is. The Volt/Ampera in the only American made car to win the 2012 European Car of the Year. The media would be wish to remember the GM is an American company, employing American workers, building an outstanding car the entire world is wanting to buy and providing 1,000s of badly needed jobs right here at home. All vehicles are made in Mi, including the Opel Ampera...go GM
      Richard Goebel
      • 2 Years Ago
      Europeans paying $8 or $9 per gallon for gas would obviously be ahead of the game, buying an Ampera/Volt. In America, if gas goes above $4 per gallon, watch Volt sales take off.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard Goebel
        [blocked]
      Brian D
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Opel version having a "city" mode allowing for the battery to be saved until entering zero emissions city zones is also a huge advantage. There are many places in Europe where drivers must pay HUGE fees to drive a gasoline powered vehicle in certain city zones. An Opel driver can run the gasoline engine for the entire highway commute, and than switch to electricity when entering a zero emissions zone.
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