GERMANY: Opel plans new model for Frankfurt plant

By Graeme Roberts | 12 December 2013

Russelsheim produces Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, adds Zafira Tourer when Bochum closes. Additional new model not yet detailed

Russelsheim produces Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, adds Zafira Tourer when Bochum closes. Additional new model not yet detailed

General Motors' European unit Opel said it would add a new model to its Rüsselsheim plant but gave no details. It has also scaled back some planned collaboration with PSA on a B segment platform and engines.

"With DRIVE! 2022 we have developed a clear 10-year plan which focuses on a multi-billion dollar model offensive. The offensive is in full swing. And we are already paving the way for the products that will give us the chance for further growth the end of the decade" said CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann.

Currently four versions of the Insignia are assembled in Rüsselsheim. From the beginning of 2015, the current generation Zafira Tourer – now built in Bochum – will follow.

At the same time, the company announced together with partner PSA Peugeot Citroen that in future the C-CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) models will be produced in PSA’s Sochaux plant in France. In return, the Spanish Opel plant in Saragossa will, as already announced, produce the successor of the B-MPVs of both companies.

“The alliance between PSA and Opel is based on a balanced approach”, said Neumann.

The expected savings from a partnership established in February to help both companies cut costs in Europe, would total US$1.2bn by 2018, less than the previous target of $2bn by 2016.

Additionally, the partners will cooperate on new generation products in the light commercial vehicle B-segment, based on a PSA new generation platform. The first vehicles from the alliance are expected to launch starting in 2016.

"The vehicles of both manufacturers will be highly differentiated and fully consistent with their respective brand characteristics,” said Neumann.

“The partners are now focused on execution of the alliance while remaining open to new opportunities.”

However, the two firms said they'd drop collaboration on a B-segment platform and associated small petrol engine "following detailed evaluation".

GM and PSA also agreed to amend certain other terms of the alliance. They will simplify the joint governance and remove as a ground for terminating the failure to achieve a minimum number of cooperation programmes within a specific time. They also agreed to a waiver of GM’s right to terminate the alliance under certain conditions in the event certain parties take a stake in PSA, in which case such parties would support the alliance. GM would vote any PSA shares it would then hold in favour of any such transaction.