Opel wants parent General Motors to bring more production to Europe rather than other countries, according to media reports in Germany and India.
“GM would like to have the subcompact [Agila] produced in South Korea. Instead, we will fight to have it built in Gliwice [Poland], starting in late 2014,” Opel labour leader Klaus Franz was quoted as saying.
The Gliwice factory makes some Astra and Zafira models; the rest are made in the UK and Germany.
GM insiders told just-auto at the recent launch UK media launch of Vauxhall’s Astra GTC three-door hatchback that consideration was being given to swapping – probably when the next generation model line is introduced – the three-door hatch built in Poland with the five-door wagon assembled at Ellesmere Port in England so that both variants are built closer to where they sell – most Astra wagons go to Europe and the UK is the largest market for the sporty three-door.
Franz reportedly said Suzuki would not make the next generation Agila alongside its own version, the Splash, in Hungary (the model line was developed jointly by Opel and Suzuki) because it had a new partner.
Franz also hopes GM will shift production of the GM Korea-designed Opel/Vauxhall Antara from South Korea to Germany. GM Korea builds the Opel/Vauxhall versions alongside its own Chevrolet-badged Captiva variant.
“We are making the case for assembling the next generation Antara in Bochum together with the Chevrolet Captiva, since it is based on the compact high-roof architecture,” Franz said.
GM also plans to build a small SUV in South Korea, with production starting in late 2012, but Franz said Opel is “making the case to build the car in our Spanish [Opel Corsa] factory in Zaragoza”.
However, he added: “Unfortunately, there isn’t much chance that GM will change its mind.”