Amid news Ford will be allocating all small car production to Mexico over the next three years (read more on that here), General Motors may be gearing up to actually export a small car from the United States to Europe.
And it’s not a regular small car, it’s the 2017 Opel Ampera-e, better known as the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV for us Yanks. Crain’s Detroit reports GM may build the Opel variant alongside the Bolt EV at the Orion assembly in Southeast Michigan. When asked if the Ampera-e would be produced in the U.S., GM President, Dan Ammann, responded, “perhaps.”
Realistically, it makes sense. The Ampera-e would require specific tooling and battery technology. It’s possible the costs of producing the EV in Europe outweigh the benefits of simply producing the model in the U.S. and exporting it.
If this is the case, the Orion assembly plant will have quite the project on their hands. Recently, the assembly plant has received a cold shoulder as small car production dwindles and the news of GM reneging on its investment in the facility. Instead, those funds were allocated to the Fairfax, Kansas plant.