Revealed: Opel According To Reilly

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Steven02 Steven02 on Dec 17, 2009

    The negotiations are not going to be favorable for the labor there. They wanting the veto power of plant closing and layoffs is ridiculous.

  • CRConrad CRConrad on Dec 24, 2009

    "Volt nee Ampera"? I think it should be the other way around: "Ampera, nee Volt". "Nee" (actually "née", with an accent) means "born" (in French); the customary usage is about women: "Mrs Married, née Maidenname". The Ampera was born a Volt; the Volt was not born an Ampera. "Die Ampera, geb. Volt", nicht umgekehrt. Na ja, schlussgemeckert: Fröhliche Weihnachten! :-)

  • Glennbk Please Mitsubishi, no more rebranded Nissan products.
  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help
  • 3SpeedAutomatic You mentioned that Mitsubishi cars had lost their character. Many brands are losing that that element as well. GM is giving up on the ICE Camaro and Dodge on the ICE Challenger. There goes the Bad Boy image. Might as well get your teeth pulled and dentures put in place. Would like to see a few EVOs with cherry bomb exhaust and true 4 cylinder BIG blower turbos; 4 wheel drift capacity is mandatory!!🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos Here in my overseas summer palace, I filled up my tank twice in May, at 68 and 52 euros (a full 90+ liter tank fillup has taken 130-135 Euros in the past, and I am 23 miles from downtown here, while only 1-2 miles in the US)Still, diesel here is MUCH cheaper than gas. Yesterday, I paid 1,488 a liter while gas was at least 1,899 (regular).Multiply by almost 4 for gallons AND by an additional 1.1 for $.
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