Isn’t it great to have the government as your biggest shareholder? Makes for good photo-ops. For the second time, Barack Obama went behind the wheels of a Chevy Volt, with the world press in attendance. Actually, it was the Volt’s European twin, the Ampera.
The Prez. had to weigh national security and time at the NATO summit in Lisbon against checking out the range extended Opel, and the Opel won.
According to Reuters, “Obama found himself acting as salesman-in-chief for GM Opel’s Ampera model just days after he declared in Washington that U.S. taxpayers would get their money back for saving GM in a bailout that was broadly unpopular.”
Then Obama said something that won’t go down well with Opel workers: “This is a car made in America. We’re going to start selling it in Europe.”
Actually, the Volt was designed with heavy input from Saab and Opel engineers. The brains of the Volt were developed at Opel in Mainz-Kastel. The Ampera production had been shopped around by Nick Reilly in Europe to attract government money. For the time being, it looks like the Ampera will indeed be built in the U.S.A., after European government denied to pay to play. At $59,000 MSRP, it probably won’t turn into a volume model real soon.