5 June 2014

Opel plans return to profit

Opel Insignia
Opel/Vauxhall plan to become No. 2 in Europe by 2022 by launching 27 new or revised models and 17 new or revised engines between 2014 and 2018, writes Trish Whelan.

Opel aims to return to profit and increase its market share to 8 percent (from a current 5.8%) in Europe by focusing on smaller cars using more components from parent company General Motors.

General Motors is to invest 4 billion euros in Opel by the end of 2016 to support the development of new cars. The next generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa subcompact will use a GM platform.

The company's design chief Mark Adams (whom we have met at a number of international car launches) said three current Opel cars embody the three design values the brand wants to portray: 'premiumness' with the Insignia mid-sized saloon and wagon; sportiness with the three-door Astra GTC compact; and the 'fun personality' of the Adam minicar. He said 'every Opel has to have these three ingredients'.

The design of Opels will remain rooted in 'German' values, Adams added. "It gives us precision, dependability and quality." The design will be a key part of the carmaker's return to profitability, promised for 2016, by making cars that people will buy. He concluded "Inspiring design, engaging driving and practical innovation. These are the things the customer really values."