A lot has changed since just-auto.com looked at Opel and Vauxhall future models a year ago. Legacy vehicles from the GM ownership era are disappearing, replaced by fresh ones with PSA platforms, along with BEV and PHEV models. There is much more to come.
The Karl and Viva, respectively Opel and Vauxhall’s smallest models, will be phased out by the end of 2019 and not replaced. Launched four years ago, these A segment vehicles are supplied by GM Korea and based on the Chevrolet Spark.
The next Corsa, to be available only as a 4,060mm long five-door hatchback, switches from a GM-Fiat architecture which was developed long ago to Groupe PSA and shareholder Dongfeng Motor’s CMP platform. Just one plant will make this model: Figuerelas (Zaragoza) in Spain. Production is due to commence in November, which means a mid-cycle facelift should take place in the second quarter of 2023 with the next generation due in late 2026.
Opel and Vauxhall are claiming significant weight savings for the new model, with the lightest version tipping the scales at 980kg. Some of the features which help with that include a standard aluminium bonnet and a body-in-white which has lost 40kg and seats which lose a combined 10kg.
Unlike the Corsa, the Adam, another B segment car, is due to be eliminated. In October last year Opel issued a media release stating that the Adam, Cascada and the Karl would “…not be replaced after the end of their life cycles, but will remain on sale until the end of 2019”.
The two brands’ most disappointing model when it comes to sales success is their main entrant in the C segment. The current Astra five-door hatchback and estate are expected to be facelifted soon, as the former has been around since the fourth quarter of 2015. There should be changes to the engine line-up too.
Planning for the next Astra is already underway, with the car due for market release in the final quarter of 2022. Where it will be manufactured is subject to speculation. In October 2017, Vauxhall Motors told the media that it would be asking for 400 voluntary redundancies from workers at the current model’s lead plant, Ellesmere Port in north-west England. That took the site down to one shift from two. This is the only vehicle made there.
With the architecture of this model becoming PSA’s EMP2, major spending will need to take place to refit one or both of the former GM plants which make the current Astra. Given the shrinking C segment, the relative weakness of the Vauxhall brand against Ford and Volkswagen, the uncertainty of what the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will mean and the relatively low cost of workers in Poland compared to England, some believe that Ellesmere Port will be shut for good in the coming years. Possibly, even before the current Astra is scheduled to be replaced. Gliwice would be able to make up the lost volume. However, that scenario may be too pessimistic.
Just a few weeks ago, Groupe PSA stated it would be building large vans at the Gliwice plant. Responding to a question on what this would mean for the future Astra, a spokesman for the company told just-auto.com, “Ellesmere Port and Gliwice will continue to produce the Astra model. No decision about the allocation of the future Astra has been taken. We continue to discuss and work with all partners to improve the competitiveness of our plants”.
Some have speculated that Ellesmere Port might remain open and be refitted to produce not only the next Astra but also the next Peugeot 308. There will probably only be a successor for the five-door hatchback due to sales of C segment estates having dropped off as buyers turn instead to SUVs.
The Insignia is another model which has an uncertain future. The current range was seen for the first time at the 2017 Geneva motor show and being a fresh design, it has sold relatively well in the key markets of Britain and Germany.
GM was believed to have been influenced by how well the similarly sized Skoda Superb had performed in Europe and China so there is no sedan with this generation. Opel and Vauxhall offer three bodies for the Insignia:
- Grand Sport (five-door hatchback)
- Sports Tourer (wagon)
- Country Tourer (crossover wagon)
Opel also builds the Buick Regal for North American markets on the same line at its Rüsselheim works. This is nearly identical to the Insignia Grand Sport, while a version of the Country Tourer is called Regal TourX. Meanwhile, GM Holden’s Commodore, which is sold in Australia and New Zealand, is also sourced from Rüesselsheim.
Earlier in 2019, images of prototypes with their front and rear ends covered appeared in the media, suggesting a facelifted Insignia range will be announced either later this year or in 2020.
As for the next Insignia, there are conflicting accounts of what PSA is planning. Much depends on how long Opel will build the existing GM architecture model. It could be as far off as the second half of 2024 or as soon as 2021.
As well as a five-door hatchback, wagon and Country Tourer, there should also be various body styles for a future PHEV Insignia. What would become of the Holden Commodore and Buick Regal is not clear, although in theory, GM could source these cars from a Chinese plant. However, given that the current versions have not been brisk sellers, they probably won’t be replaced.
It might date to 2012 but the Mokka X is still popular. This B segment SUV is dual-sourced from GM Korea’s Bupyeong factory and Opel’s Figuerelas plant near Zaragoza in Spain’s north east. In February, Groupe PSA told the media that a ‘B-SUV’ for Opel/Vauxhall would be manufactured at the Poissy plant. This is believed to be the next Mokka X, which should be revealed within the next six months. Production is set to commence in the first quarter of 2020.
The GT X Experimental concept, shown to the media in August 2018, was likely a preview of this model (see image). The production model should be built for seven years, which means until March 2027, a facelift being due in the final quarter of 2023 or first quarter of 2024.
Opel and Vauxhall have a second B segment crossover. Effectively a replacement for the Meriva, the Crossland X is 4,212mm long, 1,764mm wide and 1,588mm high, compared with the Mokka X’s respective 4,275mm, 1,781mm and 1,658mm dimensions. The Mokka X is also available with AWD whereas the Crossland X isn’t.
This crossover was revealed to the media in January 2017, with the car’s public debut being six weeks later at the Geneva motor show. LHD cars were in showrooms in May, with RHD Opels and the Vauxhall versions following a month later. There should be a facelift in the fourth quarter of 2020 and a potential replacement in 2024 although a successor is by no means guaranteed.
The largest crossover for Vauxhall and Opel is the 4,477mm long Grandland X. This is the replacement for the Antara, even though the latter had been out of production for some eighteen months by the time the successor went on sale in early 2018.
Production of this front-wheel drive model was originally at PSA’s Sochaux plant. Groupe PSA told the media in May 2018 that Grandland X build at the French factory would end when the model was shifted to Opel’s Eisenach plant in mid-2019. The German plant is also where the PHEV variant (see below) will be made. The announcement angered French unions even though PSA insisted that “overflow” assembly of the Peugeot 5008 would help to counter the loss of the Grandland X.
The agreement to move the Grandland X to Germany came after Opel workers received five-year job guarantees after their union sanctioned delaying a nationally negotiated pay rise until 2020.
As with the closely related Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 3008, Peugeot 5008 and DS 7 Crossback, the Grandland X comes only in front-wheel drive form (although the PHEV has electric AWD).
The mid-cycle facelift will likely take place in the second quarter of 2021. As for the second generation model, expect that to arrive at the end of 2024.
The Combo Life succeeded the Combo Tour. The Citroën Berlingo/Berlingo Multispace replacement and the Peugeot Partner/Rifter were part of the same development programme. Toyota Motor Europe is also supplied with a van and an MPV from this family: the Proace City.
The previous Combo was built in Turkey by FCA and its local partner, Koc but the latest model is made in a PSA plant. Also, unlike the previous generation, there is also a Vauxhall version of the Combo. The passenger version changed names from Combo Tour to Combo Life. Both five- and seven-seat layouts are available. Build commenced in August 2018. There should be a facelift in 2022 or 2023 and production may last until 2028 or even 2029, which means a potential second facelift in 2025 or 2026.
The Zafira Tourer is now built to customer order only for certain left-hand drive markets. An Opel spokesman told just-auto.com in January that “The Zafira is still being built in Rüsselsheim and will continue to be available until the end of this year”.
The successor model is already on sale. As an Opel it’s the Zafira Life but with Vauxhall badging the name is Vivaro Life. The 4.6m long ‘Small’, 4.95m ‘Medium’ and 5.3m ‘Large’ versions were revealed at the Brussels motor show in January. The Small (not available as a Vauxhall) has a 3.03m wheelbase, while the Medium and Large share a 3.28m wheelbase dimension.
Vauxhall Motors’ Luton plant makes all variants and also supplies kits to the Groupe PSA-Mitsubishi Motors JV plant in Kaluga: in March, Opel stated that as part of its return to Russia, passenger and van versions would be assembled at this factory.
Each of these MPVs has seating for up to nine occupants and is closely based on the Peugeot Traveller, Citroen SpaceTourer and Toyota Proace Verso. As these vehicles have been around for a few years already, they plus the Opel and Vauxhall models should be facelifted in 2020 and then replaced in 2024.
The Corsa-e was announced to the media by Opel and by Vauxhall in May. Production starts in January and the car will be available in March. Opel says the Corsa-e’s motor produces 100kW (136PS) and that the maximum range is 330km (205 miles) according to WLTP, Europe’s Worldwide Light harmonized vehicle Test Procedure. The battery pack has a capacity of 50kWh.
A battery-electric Mokka X will also be released by both Opel and Vauxhall in 2020. This was confirmed by Opel in December 2018 in a statement to the media. It is believed that Groupe PSA’s Poissy plant in the Greater Paris region will be where the Mokka X and its electric version will be manufactured. The model name could be Mokka X-e.
A ‘hybrid’ version of the Grandland X would be in production during 2020, Groupe PSA and Opel announced in a May 2018 media statement. The model in question is a plug-in hybrid, this fact having then been clarified via a 13 May 2019 media release. Also, the in-showrooms date has been moved forward to late 2019/early 2020.
The Grandland X Hybrid4 is to be powered by the combination of a 147kW/200PS 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine plus two motors with a combined output of 80kW/109hp. The official total output is 300PS.
The capacity of the lithium-ion battery, which is mounted under the back seats, is 13.2kWh. The front motor is coupled to an electrified eight-speed automatic transmission, while the second electric motor, inverter and differential are integrated into the electrically powered rear axle, providing all-wheel traction on demand.
According to WLTP, the vehicle’s range is up to 50 kilometres or up to 60km according to NEDC. As for the vehicle’s life cycle, it will sync with that of other Grandland X variants.
Opel and Vauxhall stated when announcing their Zafira Life and Vivaro Life MPVs in January that a fully electric version would be released “in early 2021”. At this stage there are few other details. As the basic model was spun off the existing Peugeot Traveller and Citroen SpaceTourer which were introduced in early 2016, the Zafira Life-e/Vivaro Life-e will likely have successors as soon as 2024.
Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.
Future product program intelligence
More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE.
The next OEM to be covered will be ZGH (Zhejiang Geely Holding Group) and its brands: Geely, Jihe/Geometry, Lynk & Co, Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lotus and Proton.