Buick "Ampera" In Development

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Bloomberg reports:

Designers and engineers are working on a version of the plug-in hybrid Opel Ampera, which was modeled after the Volt and scheduled for sale in Europe this year, with a Buick grille and front-end styling, said the people, who didn’t want to be named because the plans are private. The Buick version would begin sales in 2013 if it gets final approval, the people said.

In theory this is a brilliant plan. Since capacity constraints are limiting production right now, GM might as well get its profit while the early adopters are still in the market. On the “not so brilliant” side of the equation is the fact that the most basic Volt already costs upward of $40,000. At that price point, how will they possibly tempt buyers up into a rebadged Opel version of the same car? On the other hand, there’s no automaker in the world that manages to associate itself so consistently with flailing brand management as does GM. Case in point, the Saturn “Flextreme” concept of 2008 pictured above. Meanwhile, this comes as no news at all to our friends in China.

Join the conversation
  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Mar 30, 2011

    Meh, if I wanted a fuel efficent Buick I think I'd rather buy a Buick Verano so I could get a Chevy Cruze chassis with a 2.4ltr ecotech in it.

    • SVX pearlie SVX pearlie on Mar 30, 2011

      The Ampera-based Buick Electra isn't for you. It's for people who want a nicer interior, etc. than what the Volt provides. The Volt's NVH is far too good for a Chevy, and should have been badged as a Buick in the first place. The problem was that the concept car wore a bowtie badge.

  • Gunnar Nilsson Gunnar Nilsson on Mar 30, 2011

    Will GM brand it Buick, here in Europe??! Buick doesn't exist here. Pontiac Trans Sport were sold here as Chevrolet Trans Sport. Oldsmobile Alero was sold as an Olsdsmobile for one or two years, then GM gave up and rebadged it Chevrolet Alero. But when it comes to GM nothing surprises. It would probably be better to rebadge a Cadillac as an Opel if it would be sellable over here.

    • Steven02 Steven02 on Mar 30, 2011

      Buick isn't sold in Europe and won't be with this. This article is talking about it being sold in the states. In Europe, it will be an Opel.