Vauxhall hopes an Ampera price cut can kick start the range extender’s slow sales
16 September 2013

Vauxhall says the £3,000 price cut for the Ampera has to be seen in the context of the whole electric vehicle market, which is only running at 30 per cent of the expected level.

The company maintains that the whole market is disappointing, rather than representing a specific problem with the Ampera, which is now available from £28,750.

However, even in relative terms, Vauxhall Ampera sales have been disappointing. It is outsold by the Nissan Leaf by more than five to one in the UK. Nissan's EV sold 530 units in the first half of 2013. By comparison, less than 100 private buyers purchased a Chevrolet Volt, Vauxhall Ampera or Renault Fluence in the same period.

As one manufacturer put it at the Frankfurt motor show, “The public thinks emissions are a problem, but they think it is a problem for the industry, not for them. They see no reason why they should pay extra to reduce CO2”. 

Model / starting price 2012 / starting price 2013 / Total first half sales 2013

Chevrolet Volt: £30,225 (2012), £27,255* (2013), Sales: 23

Nissan Leaf: £25,990 (2012), £20,990 (2013), Sales: 825

Renault Fluence**: £17,850 (2012), £17,845 (2013), Sales: 7

Vauxhall Ampera: £32,250 (2012), £28,750 (2013), Sales: 150

* price cut expected within weeks

** Batteries are leased separately at a cost of £2772 for first three years.

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Ampera

The Vauxhall Ampera promises the ability to cover 175 miles on a gallon of petrol. Does it deliver?

Join the debate

Comments
18

16 September 2013

All electric cars on the market currently have their flaws. Pure EVs have no range, range extenders are too expensive. The problem with the Vauxhall/Chevrolet option is that it's just not very attractive for that money. The same package inside an Audi A4 shell? I think there'd be more interest.

16 September 2013
nicebiscuit wrote:

All electric cars on the market currently have their flaws. Pure EVs have no range, range extenders are too expensive. The problem with the Vauxhall/Chevrolet option is that it's just not very attractive for that money. The same package inside an Audi A4 shell? I think there'd be more interest.

wrong car, wrong price bracket.

The Ampera has a number of limitations its competitors do not share (e.g. it has four rather than five seats) plus before the price drop it was about £10K more than a 320d EfficientDynamics. Ten grand! Implications for BIK are marginal and in terms of desirability there's simply no contest whether you're buying for yourself or are thumbing your employer's car choices list.

Most new car sales are fleet purchases: none more so Vauxhalls, only a minority of which make their way to private buyers. What private buyer is going to pay Land Rover Discovery money for a Vauxhall of unknown reliability, with overwrought futuristic looks and whose value plummets like spanners down a liftshaft every time you look at it?

Plus if you browse the Vauxhall.co.uk site there have been precisely no deals on the Ampera since launch, further distancing the car from private buyers - even mad ones. A price drop will have no effect on sales without a finance package to back it up.

This car is a dud, but you know what? It didn't have to be.

16 September 2013

Slow sales? Wow, I am surprised....... Not!

16 September 2013

a big problem for Vauxhall with this car is the lack of dealers being able to sell it. most Vauxhall dealers as i understand have the ampera on show with the inability to sell it? Anyone interested must go to a designated Vauxhall dealer specialist. Thats all very well if you live close by to one but why would i bother traveling over 200 miles there and back (the distance in my case) with only 2 specialist dealers in Scotland, if a problem arised with the car i'd then have to do the same distance to get it seen to? No thanks!!!!

16 September 2013
VX220EDDIE wrote:

a big problem for Vauxhall with this car is the lack of dealers...
why would i bother traveling over 200 miles there and back (the distance in my case) with only 2 specialist dealers in Scotland...

Just think if you had a Renault EV - 2hr to get to the garage, 4hr to charge the batteries then 2 hr to return home. Or if you had a Leaf, get 3/4 way then recharge somewhere, 8hr recharge on domestic supply, continue to garage, 8hr recharge on way home and... You should easily manage that trip within two days.

And they wonder why sales are slow?

16 September 2013

Do you know, i've never seen one!,that's rarer than an MG6!

Peter Cavellini.

Myk

16 September 2013
Peter Cavellini wrote:

Do you know, i've never seen one!,that's rarer than an MG6!

I saw an Ampera AND an MG6 at the weekend!

I've seen a few Amperas now, which apparently actually works out at quite a large proportion of the total number sold. They look ok but there's no real need to spend the extra over a "normal" car. The amount you save in petrol doesn't outweigh the intital outlay, costs wise. If you only do a small number of miles you might as well go the whole hog and get a pure EV, otherwise you might as well buy a "normal" car.

16 September 2013

Maybe a reason why, along with the Fluence, that the Ampera isn't selling is the apparent lack of effort to market the product? I don't think I have ever seen a TV advert for either. At least the Leaf got some exposure by appearing on Top Gear.. How many people other than car enthusiasts have even heard of the Ampera?

16 September 2013

If Toyota can make a success of the hybird there’s no reason why GM can’t, little things like there being a need for 1.5 litre 4 cyclinder engine when BMW use a 0.7 litre for the same purpose, need to be addressed.

And with Toyota, Nissan, Renault, BMW, Ford uping their game or coming on board there’s no point in stoppping now!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

16 September 2013

I have seen a reasonable number of these about (work in Bedford so maybe the big Vauxhall dealer in Luton sells them?).
I always think they look really dramatic and modern but it would seem I am on my own with that!
The biggest problem is price, that is major money for a leftfield astra of unknown durability.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again