Production of the new Opel/Vauxhall Meriva at the General Motors Zaragoza plant in Spain is scheduled to begin in January 2003 with European sales due to begin in the spring.

The new five-seat minivan uses the same innovative FlexSpace system as the seven-seat Zafira to switch from a five-seater, to a four-seater with more spacious rear seats, a two-seater or a single-seater without removing the seats.

Locally-built Chevrolet-badged versions with 102 and 122bhp 1.8-litre petrol engines went on sale in Brazil this month and will be exported to other South American countries by the end of the year.

European versions will have diesel and petrol engines ranging from 1.6 to 1.8 litres in size. Petrol engines will develop between 75bhp and 125bhp.

The FlexSpace seat design divides the rear seat system into three fully separate units; two wide individual seats and one narrower centre seat.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The centre seat, whose backrest is six inches narrower than the cushion is at the same level as the cushion of the two outer seats when folded down.

This allows the outside seats to move inwards on horizontal rails. Then they can be pushed backwards because they can now slide past the rear wheel arches.

To enlarge the load area, each outer rear seat pushes forward separately by more than five inches. With the backrests moved to a steeper angle than the normal position the load capacity exceeds 530 litres, up from the normal 292.

If the front passenger’s seat back is also folded forward, the Meriva can swallow items as large as a surfboard.

The Meriva was developed by GM’s International Technical Development Centre (ITDC) in Russelsheim, Germany, and GM do Brasil’s Design and Engineering Centre in Sao Paulo.