By on November 12, 2010

America – the greatest country on earth. At least when it comes to Chevy Volt prices. You think its $41,000 tag is expensive? Wait until you hear what the Europeans will have to fork over for the rebadged Opel Ampera, and the Volt will look like the greatest deal on earth. Especially after subsidies. Ready?

Opel will sell their Ampera in Europe “from” €42,900. In today’s (slightly stronger) dollars, that comes out to breath-restricting 58,747.26 smackeroos. For the base model. Remember, in Europe VAT has to be included, but anyway, that’s what the dealer will demand.

The Volt in Ampera clothing won’t be available before Q4 2011, but the crowd that indulges in pain, suffering and humiliation can already book theirs. On-line, in the privacy of their homes.

Automobilwoche [sub] comes to the easily understandable conclusion that “the car that is being hawked as ‘revolutionary’ by its maker will be significantly more expensive in the Old World than in the U.S.A.”

Subsidies? Wie bitte? No subsidies for civilians. The European industry is lobbying hard for subsidies, but governments remain tightfisted. With great fanfare, the German government made a charitable donation of €100m, to be spent on “field tests, connectivity with renewable energies, a market launch for diesel-hybrid buses, development of a recycling method for batteries, and studies of the ecological and economical benefit of electromobility.”

Deadpans focus magazine: “That study shouldn’t take long. Benefit: Zero.” An Opel Astra Diesel can be had for half the price.

Automobilwoche calls the U.S. sticker of  $41,000 a “comparatively reasonable introductory price.” Isn’t it wonderful to live in God’s own country? What will you do with all the money you save?

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21 Comments on “$41,000 For A Volt? A Bargain – Compared To An Ampera...”


  • avatar
    Sugarbrie

    Not in all states, but we all tend to never include state sales tax.  

    With the VAT that the total price.  With city sales tax, some areas are as high as 11%.
     
    I suppose the sales tax is before the federal credit is subtracted. ( ??? )
     
    So you could be adding up to $4500 to some Volts before the credit…
     
    Finally, does the $41,000 include the destination charge?   If not add another $800 or so.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      + 1
      with all cars there is a similar difference in price. Doesn’t have anything to do with the Volt alone.
       
      and if the idea was to bash GM for charging different prices, then the price minus VAT should be shown since GM doesn’t get the sales tax.
       
      From reading here, I know Brazil has crazy car prices and the Volt / Ampere would be even more expensive.
       
      BTW, Volt is a better name than Ampere.
       

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    California is 8-9% sales tax, so you’d add over $4k, before adding registration fees (tax) and title fees (tax) on that car.

  • avatar

    European countries also have all kinds of motorvehicle taxes, payable annually.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      In Norway road-tax is only 500$ a year. But we have a 25% sales tax. I haven’t seen anything about the price of the Volt if or when it comes to Norway, but a Prius or CR-Z cost around 45.000 here. Heavier cars with more power are more expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I was being ironic ;) but I still use $150 on gas , and the same on tobacco every month. Our household budget (food snacks soap toothpaste etc.) is probably $1000. Tollboths are spread quite un-evenly in Norway, but if you live on an island or in a big city I guess they will cost you a lot more than the road tax.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    If a Volt crosses with an Ampera, do you get a Vampira?

  • avatar
    mistercopacetic

    In the US, the Volt is most often compared directly with the Leaf, Prius, and Fusion Hybrid. What are the top three direct competitors in Europe for the Ampera? Is there a significant difference in value for money between the competitors?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I guess the competition over here will be Prius (at $45.000), Insight ($38.000) and the Golf Bluemotion and Focus Econetic (both priced similar to the Insight and Prius, depending on equipment) I can’t see any way they’ll be able to sell the Opelt at $58.000+ norwegian taxes and customs.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    It’s such a small price to pay to live where everything is fair and just.

  • avatar
    probert

    Don’t forget:  Wages in europe are higher because of strong unions.  Also they don’t have to worry about health care and child care costs.  Additionally, because of really good public education they’re generally able to obtain higher paying jobs.
     
    Cruising in your Ampera to the coast of spain during your 5 week paid vacation – damned those heathen socialists, it’s inhuman.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Most of that is correct, but we have to pay for child care, and theres a close to 30% income tax, and 25% sale tax on everything, and excessive tax on everything thats even remotely fun, or bad for us or the environment. And the fact that most have good education does not mean that there are more well paid jobs to choose from… (allthough Norway has had a hilariously good start on the new millennium, to such a degree that the country is filled with people from other EU countries, that have now worked up the right to use our social services and free health system etc. I wouldn’t pay 40 grand for a car that cant’ reach Mach 1 , so I cruise on vacation in my 89 Ford Scorpio that I bought for 1000$ and get 30mpg (highway, closer to 25 mixed) with gas that cost 8$ a gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      Norway likely is not the best European country to compare standard of living. They export oil… they always will be richer than other European countries regardless of how much better/worse their tax/education/social system is. The same way Kuwait is not our role model for taxation since their government doesn’t need taxes.
      Although, there is one thing to say about Scandinavian countries, they may have high taxes, but they don’t have much (if any) deficits either. the US can (or it can’t afford lower taxes because much spending is done by borrowing, which will lead to future taxes. to be fair, one had to compare taxes how they would be if each country didn’t have a deficit.
       
      Another thing about Scandinavia, virtually no crime. People in the US would readily pay 5% more taxes if in return living would be safer.
       

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      The Scorpio sounds way more fun.

    • 0 avatar

      May I disabuse you of the myth of “free healthcare”  “in Europe?”.
      First, there is no single system.
      Second, it’s rarely free. You need to pay one way or the other. The “free” (i.e. tax payer paid) systems are commonly regarded as bad.
      Third, it is usually compulsory. Meaning you MUST have health insurance. Usually, you and your employer share the cost. But you can take it from employer to employer. And if you are unemployed or destitute, you still will have some healthcare.
      I wish it would be free. I pay a good chunk of Euros each month into the supposedly free German health system, and my Japanese wife transfers many yen into the allegedly free Japanese.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Lemming

      Bertel, of course healthcare isn’t free.  And whatever the weaknesses of any European nation’s healthcare system, the simple fact is that it costs less per capita than it does in the US, often by a significant amount.  What’s more, costs in the US have been rising much more quickly than elsewhere.  This has already impacted the competitiveness of US industries, and that will become an even more pressing issue if the Republicans manage to remove from Obama’s plan its major cost-containment provisions.
       
      It’s ironic that Republicans now rail against requiring almost everyone to be covered by some kind of a healthcare plan.  That’s what moderate Republicans had been insisting on for years.  Why?  Because this is the key to a functioning system.  If you don’t make it mandatory then folks will opt out until they need healthcare.  Insurance doesn’t work under those conditions because the risk pool is too small.  Folks brand Obama a socialist, but this is actually a pretty market-oriented approach that really irritates the single-payer advocates (who think Obama is a corporate sell out).

    • 0 avatar
      JJ

      I can echo the socialist nature of European countries. Here in the Netherlands most politicians regard making more than some 100K a serious fellony. There’s 52% income tax on everything above about 54K. Then of course there are tons of subsidies for people who earn less than average, subsidies that are of course usually exploited and therefore need extra gubment to have control over.
       
      That being said I do think providing health care to the people is probably THE most important task of the government. I’d happily see things like education etc privatised more for people above say 16/17, but a civilised nation I think can’t afford to leave a good part of the population uninsured for illness. I also assume that all the traps of socialism count the least for the health care sector compared to other sectors since docs and nurses are IMO more likely to be motivated by doing their job well regardless of monetary compensation than say, economists like myself, if only because when they don’t someone suffers or even dies. Unfortunately though, in reality the public (and pretty much only available) health care here in the Netherlands is not always great, or rather, it is great on average if you have cookie cutter disabilities and ilnesses that fall within protocols, but obviously the problems arise when people have rare ilnesses. Since the person who’s ill doesn’t directly hold the cash in hand to pay the doctor and the doc can’t resort to some kind of protocol to claim his expenses, the patient lacks power to get the treatment he wants. The system also doesn’t provide much for innovation, which is something that needs to be addressed. It would be ideal to have a public health care system that would be acceptable available for everyone and a parallel private system aside from that to drive innovation. Unfortunately however, we had something like that before, but the gubment insisted on having (mostly) the same care for everyone, even it would seem and this is the problem of course, if it’s not that great for everyone.
       
      At the end of the day though, the Dutch gubment spends about 9% of the GDP on health care and the US gubment 16%, so I think it must be possible to improve the system and still pay less with a public health care system of good quality.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Precisely!
    One example: Mini Cooper. A bit over 19K€ (including taxes) in Germany, a bit over $19K (plus taxes) in the US. Works for many cars.
    Europeans also like to haggle a lot – nobody pays list, 15% under list or more is normal.

  • avatar
    rainless

    Still, that is the price of a moderately equipped 3-series diesel or something similar. And that wouldn’t be getting terrible mileage either…

  • avatar
    protomech

    Audi A6 3.0t: 49850 euros.
    BMW 335d sedan in germany: 45900 euros.
    Opel Ampera: 42900 euros.
    Audi A4 2.0t 6MT quattro: 37300 euros.
     
    Audi A6 3.0t: $50200.
    BMW 335d sedan in US: $44150.
    Chevy Volt: $40280 (before subsidies).
    Audi A4 2.0t 6MT quattro: $32850.
     
    There’s no news here, beyond the sensationalist opportunity. Cars in Europe incl VAT cost more than a straight currency conversion to cars in the US. I guess a story about the $51k stripper A4 wouldn’t have gotten as many eyeballs?
    Is the Volt expensive? Oh yes.
    Are straight comparisons between Euro inc VAT and USD sans tax stupid? Oh yes.


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