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The Ampera is a lovely car, good idea, smooth drive, good build quality.... It's basically too good to be a vauxhall. Without a real premium brand here to put it in I am not surprised it struggled. It probably would have sold well with a BMW badge on it.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes I largely blame Vauxhall for not putting resources behind it. A ground breaking product needs MORE marketing budget than the likes of (yet another) small hatch like the Adam. After watching the 'Who killed the electric car' documentary, I suspect a minor conspiracy within GM, or at best, there was probably a power struggle internally. It was a real cop out to say that it's the fault of the UK govt and public.

Part of the reason Tesla get so much publicity is that they and (largely) Elon Musk himself are news and link bait. Like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc he's an enigmatic character. Within marketing, it's well documented that PR coverage is 4 to 10 times the value of paid for advertising. Look at the Top Gear stunt for example, that will definitely have harmed sales.
 
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I don't know how much money it takes to persuade someone who was going to spend 拢28k on a medium sized saloon style car that they should buy a Vauxhall instead of an Audi A4, Mercedes CLA or BMW 3 series, but I'm guessing a lot.
 

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Edd, I'm a company fleet driver, and was in a fully-specced A3 until 2012. The initial draw to the Ampera was the BIK incentive, but then I drove one, and I wanted it. I fought with our Procurement people to allow me to have a non-German badged car, and won. As a result, I'm saving roughly 拢200/month in BIK, and 拢80/month in fuel card tax, and my employer is saving around 拢200/month in petrol costs. Truly a win/win.

Unfortunately, too many people that I talk to and try to convince to make the move to hybrid sit in the car, love it, remark how well-finished it is, and then look at the badge on the steering wheel / front and wrinkle their nose and say "no, I'll stick with BMW/Audi/Merc". Partly it's snobbishness for sure - something that seems to be particularly pervasive in the company car arena - but partly it's a perception about the brand. If you've been into Audi/Merc/BMW garages, it's a whole different experience to going into a Vauxhall dealership.

I think the A3 e-tron will be a game-changer. It ticks so many boxes:
1) It's a German badge
2) It's a very familiar model, not a quirky standalone cousin
3) It enjoys very favourable BIK rates
4) Audi are marketing it, in some places, as simply a different engine derivative, so it will catch people's eye who were never even considering an EV
5) It can just be used as a conventional ICE if you're out on the road for several days in a row with no access to charging facilities

All of this makes me think that the A3 e-tron will gain a lot of traction with the fleet market... I fully expect Vauxhall to launch a PHEV version of the Insignia, for all of the reasons above.
 

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Been posted a few times that it's going, although rumours were it will be replaced with something else.
That article seems to suggest a small BEV rather than a family size PHEV.

I don't know how much money it takes to persuade someone who was going to spend 拢28k on a medium sized saloon style car that they should buy a Vauxhall instead of an Audi A4, Mercedes CLA or BMW 3 series, but I'm guessing a lot.
All electric cars/PHEV cost more than their ICE counterparts. Even the i3 is more expensive than a 3 series and that already has the respected badge. Any Marketing Director will set gradually increasing targets for market share. It just seems there heart (read wallet) wasn't in it! They used excuses eg one ASA infringement.
 

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If nobody knows about the thing you're trying to sell, nobody will buy it. Not rocket science.
I think Vauxhall made several mistakes with the Ampera:
1) Only certain dealerships were trained in them, so I had to go to Luton to see one / test drive / servicing / warranty stuff. Despite MK being a Plugged-in-Place. Bizarrely disjointed.
2) The dealerships I visited (4 of them) all seemed uninterested in the Ampera. Nobody was passionate about it, nobody really seemed to know much about it.
3) No advertising to speak of. Compare it with Audi's e-tron advertising, and excitement... Christ, if you visit the Audi homepage today, the e-tron is all over it!
4) The price point was/is simply too high for the vast majority of non-fleet customers.
 

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Julian, that sums up the situation perfectly. Wrong price-point for the badge, lack of dealership interest/competence, lack of advertising. They should have used it to gain market share, taken the hit on the price, sold it at 拢25k and marketed it alongside the Insignia as an electric brother.
 
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Absolutely! :)

Although list price is irrelevant to Fleet customers - we are interested in monthly lease (heavily influenced by residual), and BIK... So a targeted approach on that sector would have been an excellent way to gain traction (no pun intended...)
 

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I blame Vauxhall totally.

During the build up phase to the launch Vauxhall touted a price 拢5000 cheaper than the eventual launch price. They had based all their pre-launch marketing on that cheaper price and then, right at the last minute, increased the price by 拢5000. If the car was sold at the original price and 拢5000 cheaper and they put some proper marketing resources behind it then I think that it might have been a different story.

Is it a coincidence that the amount they increased the price by is the same as the government grant? Make up your own mind :rolleyes:
 

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I have quotes from Drive Vauxhall in Leicester for as low as 拢320/month for an Ampera over 3 years/36k miles... it's all too little, too late, and STILL not properly advertised.
 

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Lets hope they replace it with this :-

http://insideevs.com/report-gm-working-with-focus-groups-on-200-mile-ev-rollout/

The original article has been redacted, but this being the internet, you can read the rest of it here :-
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...ore-Focus-Group-(Maybe)&p=1840010#post1840010

Looks like GM are trying to beat Tesla to the 200 mile BEV for $35k.
I think that GM are onto a winner with that. If you compare the Model S and the Ampera/Volt NEDC mileage against usable battery capacity, the GM cars are actually more efficient per Kwh of battery. So to reach 200miles NEDC range they only need a 42kwh usable battery.
If you rip the fuel tank and engine out of an Ampera/Volt, I reckon you could fit a 50Kwh battery without too much trouble.
Instant 200 Mile electric car :)
 
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