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Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera win European Car of the Year honors

Plug-in hybrid duo beat out offerings from Ford, Volkswagen, Range Rover, Fiat and Toyota.

By Joshua Condon Mar 6, 2012 8:08AM
The Chevy Volt. Photo by Chevrolet.Despite disappointing sales and a battery-fire "controversy" (in reality, a noncontroversy drummed into typical mass hysteria by 24-hour news cycles and gleeful EV naysayers), the Chevy Volt has won the 2012 European Car of the Year award from a panel of automotive journalists representing 23 countries.

In fact, both the Volt and its European cousin, the Opel Ampera, took home the award. Though the body panels are slightly different between the two vehicles, the underpinnings are essentially the same and both vehicles are sold throughout the European market.

The Volt/Ampera duo garnered 330 total votes to beat out the Volkswagen Up!, Ford Focus, Range Rover Evoque, Fiat Panda, Citroën DS5 and the Toyota Yaris.

The award comes on the heels of the March 1 news that General Motors would halt Volt production at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant for five weeks beginning in late March to trim bloated inventory levels. Production will resume on April 23.

In 2011, the Chevy Volt took home the North American Car of the Year award as well as the U.S. and global "green" car of the year honors; that same year, another eco-friendly plug-in vehicle, the fully electric Nissan Leaf, garnered European COY honors.

[Source: Reuters; Green Car Reports.]

9Comments
Mar 6, 2012 10:04AM
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Just Great, you do not know what a Opal Ampera is? Did you not read the article? Or, Are you just posting another negative comment about the Volt? The Opal Ampera is the mechanical twin to the Volt, with a few minor body panel changes to make it an Opal. Yes, the Ampera is built in Detroit and exported to Europe. The Volt is gone? WTF? They halted production for a few weeks  to thin out dealer inventory.  
Mar 6, 2012 9:32AM
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@Just Great, what are you talking about?  The Volt isn't gone, they've just shut down the factory for a few weeks because inventories are too high.  Pay attention next time.
Mar 6, 2012 11:02AM
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So , this article really doesn't make sense or belong here since the Volt is now gone.

The Volt is still for sale.  Just because it is not in production does not mean it has been discontinued.  When the Japanese auto makers had to halt production because of the tsunami, they didn't discontinue any of the models.  They just put production on hold.

 

It pays to do just a little bit of research before you post.

Mar 6, 2012 2:48PM
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I want to know how much the bribe for this publicity stunt cost: the Volt project is an epic fail, it has been poorly received by the public, the Europeans have about 100 times more economical, ultramodern, different clean diesel vehicles to pick and choose from, why would anybody vote the Ampera for a winner?

Do note that these car of the year awards awarded at Auto Shows are voted on by a committee of journalists, not consumers.  I don't think it was necessarily a bribe as many in the press do seem enamored with the Volt/Ampera.  However, the opinions of journalists aren't always well connected to what consumers want in the real market (no offense intended, Mr Condon).


However, I can see European governments pushing hard for widespread adoption of the Volt/Ampera and cars like it such as the Prius PHEV and that Volvo diesel PHEV that was showed off some time ago.

Mar 7, 2012 5:24AM
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The employees should be happy about the stopping production of the Volt. They get full pay & don't have to work.
Mar 7, 2012 2:24PM
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forget the "volt" i would take the two cylinder volkswagen diesel hybrid XL-1 if it is affordable.

(i think the GM workers are switching production to another automobile at that plant)

Mar 7, 2012 10:01AM
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However, I can see European governments pushing hard for widespread adoption of the Volt/Ampera and cars like it such as the Prius PHEV and that Volvo diesel PHEV that was showed off some time ago.
Diesel PHEV, yes, especially for Europe, but the Volt has none of the qualities that market wants: it is gasoline powered, an automatic, sedan.
Mar 6, 2012 2:11PM
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I want to know how much the bribe for this publicity stunt cost: the Volt project is an epic fail, it has been poorly received by the public, the Europeans have about 100 times more economical, ultramodern, different clean diesel vehicles to pick and choose from, why would anybody vote the Ampera for a winner?

This award is not logical. A bribe has to be in play.
Mar 6, 2012 9:22AM
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Seems a little late or at least in this country for the Volt. I don't know anything about the Opal Ampera because it's not available in the US. So , this article really doesn't make sense or belong here since the Volt is now gone.
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