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Opel will discontinue weak-selling Ampera

Opel will discontinue weak-selling Ampera

Opel will discontinue the Ampera, the slow-selling rebadged version of the Volt made by General Motors sister brand Chevrolet, after the redesign of the 2016 Volt, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans.

GM is slated to launch its next-generation Volt during the second half of next year.

Despite sharing European Car of the Year honors with the Volt in 2012, the Ampera has been a commercial flop since its launch that year.

In 2013, sales sank 40 percent to 3,184 cars. They’ve decelerated further this year, plunging 67 percent through the first five months, to 332 cars.

In Germany, Opel’s home market, just 46 Amperas were sold in the first half of this year. Ferrari has sold nearly twice as many F12s in Germany — 83 — during the same period, according to data from the German motor transport authority (KBA).

The Volt and Ampera differ only in styling. The Ampera has a bolder front fascia and a rear-bumper cutout.

GM foreshadowed the Ampera’s demise in spring 2013, when then-Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, who remains a GM director, expressed frustration about the car’s lukewarm reception in Europe.

“All the governments in Europe said, ‘We want EVs, we want EVs,'” Girsky said on the sidelines of the Geneva auto show that year. “We show up with one, and where is everybody?”