BBC News Ampera paves the way for GM Europe revival

3 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BBC News Ampera paves the way for GM Europe revival отключены
Opel Ampera Electric Cars

Ampera paves the way for GM Europe

Driving the Ampera offers into GM Europe s strategy for and Vauxhall

Global Car Industry

a car through the Chiltern Hills, its brick and flint cottages in its box towns, offers proof if was needed: nostalgia is a powerful

Unless, that is, the car in question is a of the future.

The Ampera E-Rev, for extended range electric is a Vauxhall with a16kWh, lithium-ion battery pack delivers 40 miles of motoring and a 1.4 petrol engine that the car s range to 350 miles.

As such, the may well be GM Europe s best yet at shaking off the past and moving following last year s — a crisis that saw its company General Motors file for bankruptcy, only to be at vast expense by the US taxpayer.

This car will be a great for the Opel and Vauxhall brands, launch manager Ian Allen.


“ Start

It is a bridge from the hybrid to the electric vehicle”

A thirsty-looking is waiting to enter the road as the whizzes past the Toad garden centre outside

It is tempting to see it as yet another thing of the a reminder of a time when was cheap, when gas-guzzlers in vogue and when GM spent time dodging emission than developing new cars.

With the Old General busy comfortable seats and flashy systems in its trucks, a gap in the market was

It was quickly filled by foreign offering American drivers fuel economy and lower a process culminating in the staggering of Toyota s hybrid petrol-electric models.

For GM s former management, the came as a wake-up call, by the time they unveiled own petrol-electric concept car at the Detroit show in January 2007, it was agreed that they late to the party.

Since opinion has changed.

Most of the the Ampera will run on battery

When the US version of the Ampera, the hits the road in the US this it will not be pitched as a rival to the Indeed, it will not be presented as a hybrid car.

Increasingly, the Ampera is seen as an car; one that will be charged through a conventional plug and compete with electric cars such as the Leaf or the Tesla Roadster.

The s range is much shorter rival electric cars, so its runs out of power on a tree-lined leading towards Wallingford.

But car has a secret weapon. Under the there is a conventional 1.4 litre engine that runs an generator, which in turn the electric motor to go on and on as long as is petrol in the tank.

It is a bridge the hybrid to the pure electric according to Mr Allen.


Start Quote

With new products and the impact of restructuring, we to return to profitability shortly”

Getting into the fast on the M40 motorway, heading back the Chilterns, proves difficult,

Initially, the car accelerates swiftly, at higher speeds it soon to feel heavy and underpowered.

to the metal results in a sluggish, response reminiscent of the turbo-lag in cars during the late so a bit of patience is required before the car up speed.

GM Europe, which Opel on the Continent and Vauxhall in the UK, has similarly slow to pick up the in the wake of its US parent s bankruptcy a year ago.

Months of about selling Opel and resulted in GM deciding to hold on to its subsidiary.

This was followed by negotiations with workers as of a restructuring set to result in one in five in Europe being lost, as as by futile talks with the government about getting loan guarantees.

Brand booster

On the country that link the motorway Marlow, the Ampera s 1.8 tonne of can be felt, but, rather being uncomfortable, it just to the car s momentum as it winds its way past the brewery.

GM Europe is also momentum, according to chief Nick Reilly.

Parent GM has agreed to fully finance the process, which is set to cost 3.3bn euros ($4bn; and the unions have accepted there will be more 8,000 job cuts and cost of some 265m euros a until 2014.

With new and the impact of restructuring, we expect to to profitability shortly, Mr Reilly

He now says GM Europe could be in the black by 2011, ready to ahead with at least two extended range models in the ahead.

But first, GM Europe is set to a massive charm offensive in to bring back customers who it during the last couple of and the Ampera may well offer needed assistance.


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