Opel is planning a premium model above its top-of-the-range Insignia as well as an electric car smaller than its Ampera, the brand's new chief told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Karl-Friedrich Stracke, who has headed up the brand since last month, said that Opel could not content itself with the Insignia. It could have a premium model above its D-segment car and would come to market in four to five years in a new crossover segment not directly competing with models offered by BMW, Daimler or Audi.

Opel's last separate large car line was the Omega, dropped in 2003 while a stretched 'hatchback' version of the final Vectra line, called Signum, was offered from 2003-2008. That was offered with two separate rear seats in a bid to attract executive buyers but was widely considered a flop.

Opel also wants to launch another electric car the size of the Corsa hatchback or the Agila subcompact in addition to the Ampera, the European version of the Chevrolet Volt, which is  being launched from the end of this year.

Stracke added that he also wants to push Opel's expansion outside its European domestic market. He added: "I believe that we can achieve a level of about 150,000 vehicles that we can sell annually outside Europe in three years' time."

Stracke's predecessor Nick Reilly, now chairman of Opel's supervisory board, had previously targeted a figure of around 100,000 units for sale outside Europe.

Stracke said Opel has the green light from parent GM to expand outside Europe as long as it is profitable and complements GM's other brands.

Opel has also been sold previously in New Zealand (under both Opel and Holden brands) and in Japan.