First Opel/Vauxhall Ampera Rolls Off Assembly Line

The first Opel/Vauxhall Ampera came off the assembly line late last week, nearly a month after its U.S.-market Chevrolet Volt platform-mate.

The first Ampera manufacturing-validation model was completed at General Motor’s Pre-Production Operations center in Warren, Michigan, on April 23. Prior to turning Volt production duties over to GM's Hamtramck plant, the PPO facility was responsible for crafting 80 prototypes for testing. With the Volt drawing ever closer to dealers, GM must also prepare the Opel/Vauxhall badge-wearing version of its highly hyped extended-range electric vehicle.

“We’re right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer for the Ampera/Volt. “There’s still work to be done, but being able to drive an Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe.”

More pre-production Amperas will be built and tested, like the Volt, in both the United States and Europe. Engineers will assess a wide array of vehicle qualities to determine ongoing production worthiness before giving the green light for full-scale production. While GM is insistent that the Volt will be ready for the U.S. by the end of 2010, the Vauxhall version will not make it to the U.K. market until early 2012. The Opel model, as Farah stated, will likely be available in the rest of Europe in late 2011.

Source: General Motors

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