The Opel Ampera is the twin sister car to the Chevy Volt. The primary difference is rebadging with Opel styling cues, the platform and powertrain will be identical. Canadian parts supplier Magna International is in negotiations with GM to become a partial owner of Opel.
There are apparently some snags in the negotiations. It is well known that Magna intends to become a leader in the electrification of the automobile. Ownership in Opel could potentially give them access to Voltec intellectual property. Sources indicate that “Magna is asking for access to future technology such as fuel cells, hybrids and future GM models that go beyond what the company is offering in the deal.” As such GM is now in new negotiations with buyout firm RHJ International SA and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co.
Reports out of Europe cite GM sources as saying this uncertainty has led to a plan to introduce the right-handed Chevy Volt at the same time as the Opel Ampera in Europe in 2012, effectively putting them in competition with one another.
However, the reports suggests this competition may only be brief, as GM’s future Voltec plans are made clearer. GM sources told Autocar that in the future “there won’t be a Volt or Ampera mark two, the powertrain will effectively become mainstream.” As an example this source said the sixth generation Opel Astra could get the Voltec powertrain “in 5 or 6 years.”
If this were true one could envision a similar paradigm developing in North America, where new future GM compact cars could come as standard gas combustion as well as Voltec versions.
This entry was posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2009 at 9:13 am and is filed under Next Generation, Opel, Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.