GM may delay decision to build the Ampera in Europe for another two years

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 4, 2011

General Motors Co. may not decide on whether it will build the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera plug-in hybrid vehicle in Europe for another two years, GM Europe’s President Nick Reilly disclosed, stating that they won’t produce generation one because they lose money on it.

According to an insider, European production for the company may not start before 2015, which is the time when the second-generation vehicle will be launched.

Reilly, who also serves as the chairman of the Opel/Vauxhall supervisory board, further said that they know that they are going to take “a lot of cost” out of the second-generation model, such as the batteries and other components.

He also disclosed that three factories are in the running for the European production: Ellesmere Port in England, Gliwice in Poland and Ruesselsheim in Germany. However, Reilly emphasized that the company will not make the decision for “maybe two more years."

In July, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, the new Opel/Vauxhall chief operating officer told Automotive News Europe that the decision whether to build in Europe at all will be based on range-assisted EV’s success.

He further mentioned that the vehicle will be put up for sale in November at 42,900 euros before grants. Moreover, he said that they need a business case for “maybe 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 vehicles a year, then maybe it makes sense to locally manufacture it on the Continent or even in the UK."

The allocation in Europe for 2012, which is the first year of sales, from the Hamtramk plant near Detroit in the United States is 10,000. Of these units, 4,000 will go to the UK, which makes it largest market initially.

Topics: gm, opel, opel ampera

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