Since the Chevy Volt went on sale late last year, GM has managed to sell about 2,745 of the plug-in hybrids to American consumers. Meanwhile its European cousin, the Opel Ampera, has already sold out of the 5,000 units allocated for 2011.
GM still plans to push about 10,000 Volts out of factory doors by the end of 2011, but they have only allocated about 5,000 Amperas for the European market. And despite costing between $58,000 and $65,000 (U.S. dollars), every single one of those plug-in hybrids has already been reserved via pre-order. Gotta love that Value Added Tax (not).
Now while I am sure some people will eventually back out of the pre-order, it just goes to show that Europeans will pay a premium for high-tech, fuel efficient cars. Americans, it seems, still need a little more convincing. Bringing down the price on the Chevy Volt, again, would be a good start. Perhaps GM needs to rethink where they are focusing their efforts as well; I like the Volt, and I want to see it do well in America…but if the Europeans are going to buy them up faster, and at a higher price…well, seems like a no brainer to me.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.