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Glenn Brooks | 9 September 2013

KT Neumann and the be-winged Monza concept

KT Neumann and the be-winged Monza concept

Curiously little mention of Vauxhall at today's Opel 'Zeit Konferenz', but first sight of the Monza concept, followed by a chance to see the i3 in motion at a BMW event this evening (Monday).

A thankfully not too early start today after the drive over from England on Sunday - the publishers of German newspaper Die Zeit and Adam Opel AG held a 'Future Summit' at Frankfurt Airport's Hilton and that also meant a chance to see the Monza concept.

Karl-Thomas ('KT') Neumann, Opel's chairman was all smiles pulling the covers off the long, low and wide range-extender EV with GM Europe's VP of Design Mark Adams. The car is meant to have the form and athleticism of a greyhound and I'll admit, from some angles, you can see the similarities. The talk was all of Opel, which was odd given Vauxhall's ongoing success in what is now GM Europe's largest market.

We won't see anything like this Opel concept in showrooms of course, but elements of the interior such as 3D LED projection, are reportedly not that far away. Both Neumann and Adams talked a lot about connectivity - connected drivers, and connected cars.

Meanwhile, Opel has noticed what happened to Chevy Volt sales in the US last month after a big price cut - they had their best month yet, soaring to 3,351 units. So it has followed suit and slashed EUR7,600 from the price of the Ampera, meaning that it now costs from EUR38,300 in Germany.

After a day with Opel, it was an (early) evening with BMW. The company held a gathering on its stand where I was able to chat to board member Harald Krüger, the Group's head of Manufacturing. For more on that, see here.

It's an early start and a long day tomorrow, most of which I shall be spending interviewing various industry execs, but will publish some highlights on what I saw, and who told me what - later in the day.

I also learned today that a Vauxhall Astra fitted with the new-ish 195bhp Biturbo 2.0-litre diesel will do 130mph+ on an autobahn. That was fun.


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