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BUSINESSCAR AWARDS WINNER: Ampera shines a light on Vauxhall

Date: 05 August 2013

Not only is the Ampera plug-in range-extender winning countless awards, including BusinessCar's Green Model of the Year, it's also sparking interest in the rest of Vauxhall's buoyant range, as fleet boss James Taylor explains to Paul Barker.

The Ampera is a car that sums up what's going on across Vauxhall at the moment. Although 2012 sales were, at first glance, not what the firm was hoping for, there's more going on than meets the eye.

"The Ampera has done an unbelievably good job at opening doors to fleets that are predominantly Ford, VW or premium brand user-choosers, and allowing us to showcase our products and our service," Vauxhall fleet sales director James Taylor tells BusinessCar. "If you look at the number of demos we've done, we've done a really good job of getting it out there to fleet decision-makers. You can't fail to be impressed by the car and it helps with what people think about Vauxhall."

Taylor admits the early sales haven't been as high as the brand had expected, but says there's more to the car than pure numbers. "The sales are less than forecast, but the Government changes to taxation definitely didn't help, and the economic environment hasn't helped, but at the end of the day it's not about sales success, it's about showcasing the technology and leading the market, to rub off on our other models," he says. "The bigger impact on the consideration of Vauxhall is the main objective."

Taylor is hoping for the 'Prius effect' for Vauxhall: "Look what the Prius did for Toyota with green, innovation and technology leadership. The Ampera needs to do the same job for Vauxhall."