Those in the UK that were still holding out hope that GM/Vauxhall would sell a right-hand-drive version of the Chevy Bolt will probably be disappointed to hear that the company prefers to not “make a right-hand drive yet,” according to recent reports.
The exact comment made by the GM rep to Automotive News Europe was that the company is taking “a more cautious approach. If you don’t want to lose too much money, we prefer not to make right-hand-drive yet. The decision was partly financial.”
The “more cautious” bit is in reference to the approach taken a while back with the European version of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV), known as the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera, which didn’t sell as well in the UK as the company had hoped.
It’s worth remembering that, weirdly, GM has decided to sell the Bolt in the European market as the “Ampera-e” — nearly the exact same name as the name the Volt PHEV was sold under. I don’t know who thought that was a good idea — it’s bound to lead to confusion amongst consumers, and they are very different models. The Ampera (Volt) was a plug-in hybrid whereas the Ampera-e (Bolt) is a fully electric car, for example.
Autoblog provides more: “There’s good reason for GM to be a bit shy about selling the Ampera-e in the UK. The European version of the Chevy Volt (which had the now-confusing name Ampera) was cancelled after weak sales. Across the continent, it only sold a max of about 5,200 units a year, despite early claims that it would do double that. ANE says that electric vehicle sales are up over nine percent in the UK so far this year, but that isn’t enough for Vauxhall to get in on the otherwise cheery Bolt/Ampera-e scene. Maybe down the road.”
Presumably, if sales elsewhere are strong enough, then a right-hand-drive version of the Bolt is likely to pop up at some point, but we’ll have to wait to see.