What is the future of Opel? Here is the version of GM Europe’s interim-turned-permanent chief Nick Reilly. He gave an interview to Germany’s auto motor und sport magazine. (Interview in the print edition, not available on-line.)
Of course, Opel according to Reilly will aggressively gain market share: “We are confident that we can not only maintain but also expand our market share in Europe.”
Opel currently holds a 6.5 percent share of Europe. Reilly wants to see that to “rise to 10 percent and beyond in the medium range.” And how will that come to pass?
Opel according to Reilly will be taken off the leash when it comes to developing vehicles. The next generation of the Corsa will be developed mostly in Germany rather than in South Korea, Reilly promised.
Opel according to Reilly will develop a successor of the entry-level model Agila, again in cooperation with Suzuki, and never mind Volkswagen’s engagement in the Japanese automaker. Whistling in the dark, Reilly promises that “all existing projects between Suzuki and GM will be continued.” However, with some hedging: “I personally believe that there is room for two models in this segment: one that is positioned more practically than the Agila and another that comes from the sporty and lifestyle side and will be our future Mini.” So is that two or three of the small critters? By the way, the Agila ranks on place 79 of Germany’s sales charts, down from #52 in the year before.
Opel according to Reilly will bring out a small SUV based on the Corsa in 2012/13, probably made in Korea.
Opel according to Reilly will launch the next generation Antara SUV by 2014 at the latest.
Opel according to Reilly doesn’t have plans for a replacement of their flagship Insignia. “We first have to conduct our restructuring successfully in addition to polishing our image and making regular profits. This is planned for 2012.”
Opel according to Reilly will not only be in the blacks by 2012, Opel will also be fashionably green: Opel’s Volt nee Ampera should hit the market by the end of 2011.
Opel according to Reilly will sell a pure electric car within the next three years. “We will have hybrid engines in our program, in the next five years.”
Opel according to Reilly will be partly owned by the workers, reports Die Welt. Reilly wants to trade pay cuts to the tune of €265m annually for a yet to be negotiated share of the company. Negotiations will be started next month. The unions want to exact a heavy price: They want to be able to veto loss of jobs or closures of plants.