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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Opel cuts Ampera price by 17 percent in Germany

General Motors' European brand Opel has announced a 17 percent cut in the price of its Ampera electric car in Germany at this week's Frankfurt car show, where rivals will be showing off their electric models for the first time.

"Effective immediately, we are lowering the price of an Ampera to 38,300 euros ($50,400), which is a cut of almost 8,000 euros in Germany," Opel Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann told an industry conference on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Neumann said it was no coincidence that the price cut coincided with the premiere of key competitor models like the electric version of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback and Up minicar.

"We see a tremendous chance given all the talk about electro-mobility and we want to remind people that we have been in the market already for one and a half years," he said.

Price cuts will also be made in other markets, but due to differing tax laws, the price-tag and the size of the reduction will be different from country to country, a company spokesman said.

Opel's finance chief Michael Lohscheller said the price cut would not have any impact on its target of a slightly narrower loss for Opel this year given the relatively low sales figures.

He also said that a better-than-expected first half would not mean it would upgrade its outlook either. "The second half is traditionally weaker than the first half in the auto industry due to seasonal effects. We're sticking to our full-year guidance," Opel CFO told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

Only 828 new Ampera cars were registered in Germany last year out of a market of 3.08 million vehicles, according to official figures from the KBA motor vehicle agency.

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