When Opel invests in production equipment for the next Astra, all plants will also be able to build D-segment cars such as the next Vectra successor.

According to Automobilwoche, Opel's Ruesselsheim plant, which currently only builds the Vectra, will also be able to build C-segment cars like the Astra.

Traditionally, Opel plants have been dedicated to the production of a single model or platform.

The measure is being taken under the leadership of Opel boss Carl-Peter Forster, who is aiming to make Opel's production network much more flexibile.  "Thanks to the GM Global Manufacturing System it will soon be possible to build any GM car in any GM plant," a spokesperson told Automobilwoche.

The strategy follows the example set by Toyota, and uses a system of geometric points on the body-in-white.

The head of Opel's supervisory board, Klaus Franz, said that the strategy meets the board's demands for individual plants not to be completely dependent on a single model.

Booz Allen Hamilton consultant Bernhard Rieder said it is a real alternative to locating production overseas in lower cost countries, and calculates that a more flexible production process would increase operating margins by up to EUR410 per car.