Why GAZ Wants Opel

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

To boil it down to a single word, Sebring. GAZ’s main mass-market model is the Volga Siber, a Russian-market adaptation of the previous generation Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Stratus. As Der Spiegel points out, that’s not enough to go to war with even in the Russian market, and GAZ’s bosses want Opel to bring modernity to their products. GM is terrified about the prospect of having to compete against Opel in Russia, reports the AP. But those fears could be overblown. “Even if GM completely stops doing any research and doing any product development, maybe [GAZ is] going to catch up with them in five or ten years at the earliest,” says Serguei Netessine of the Wharton Business School. Just in case though, GM is investing in its Daewoo-based European Chevy lineup, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the search for an Opel buyer has cost over $1 billion so far. And it’s only just starting to get properly nasty.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Kowsnofskia Kowsnofskia on Aug 27, 2009
    Absolutely correct. The 2001 was competitive. The 1995 1st gen was superior to most of it’s peers. And of course the current one is an also ran. Thank you Dumbler! I don't understand where all this nostalgia for Chrysler's nineties/noughties products keeps coming from. "Competitive"? Maybe with whatever Hyundai and Mitsubishi were producing in the class at that point. The Chrysler JA platfrom cars were reliability dogs that lagged the class in refinement, fuel economy, rear seat room, etc...
  • Runfromcheney Runfromcheney on Aug 27, 2009

    Edward Niedermeyer : What the people were saying is that the last gen Sebring was competitive back in the early part of the decade, say 2001-2004. Of course it is nowhere near competitive now, it is hopelessly dated. And I will jump on the bandwagon. The first-gen Stratus was a sport, innovative car that was at the top of its class. Unfortunately, it fell victim to Eaton's beancounting and had bad reliability. The second gen was competitive in its first years, but fell victim over the years to Daimler's shitty support and marketing. The fact that the high end models in the first two years had the sludgebox 2.7 engines didn't help matters, either.

  • Windswords Windswords on Aug 27, 2009

    "The Chrysler JA platfrom cars were reliability dogs that lagged the class in refinement, fuel economy, rear seat room, etc…" Mmm... I beg to differ. The 1st gen (1995-2000) was MT's Car of the Year and made CD's top ten list. They beat out the way more expensive to develop Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique in comparisons. The only thing mine had wrong with it was some weather stripping that came lose on the rear driver side door. The 2.7 sludge problem was primarily with LH sedans. I think it had something to do with the engine being a North/South configuration. The first gen JA's had the 2.5 V6 from Mitsubishi. At any rate by the time of the 2nd gen the 2.7 used in the 2nd gen JA's (which sat East/West in the engine bay) were not sludging. The only reason I sold my 1st gen was because I moved to Florida and I didn't want to own two cars anymore, and my other car was a convertible. But I gave it good home to a guy who worked for Freightliner (part of Daimler) and he happened to own, as a project car, a FIAT X1/9! Weird huh?

  • Hal Hal on Aug 28, 2009

    From the Bloomberg article linked above: “The Chevrolet brand has grown a lot in the past three to four years in Europe, helped by GM Daewoo,” Michael Grimaldi, the unit’s chief executive officer, said in an interview yesterday in Busan, South Korea. With the new models set to be added, Chevrolet will be GM’s “core brand,” he said." Whoever decided that GM could compete in Europe with Korea sourced cars should be on VWs Christmas list. Probably Ford, Renault, Peugeot and Fiat should chip in something too.