Opel Thinks Big
Automotive News Europe [sub] must have been bar-hopping with German auto execs. On the same day it unearthed secret anti-X6 plans by Daimler, ANE also heard that Opel will lauch “a new flagship model” by the end of 2016 or early 2017. Not only will it be a “big Opel”, the car “may come to market with alternative powertrains such as a fuel cell system to help boost Opel’s green image.” (Someone needs to tell Opel that in Europe, one does not need to be ashamed of big cars, just like Silverados are o.k. stateside.)
An Opel spokesman declined to comment to ANE on the company’s future product plans. Top management however was in a talkative mood.
Union-leader Klaus Franz, who is also Opel’s deputy chairman said the flagship should be a “technological spearhead” for the brand with hybrid and fuel-cell propulsion systems and lots of other state-of-the-art technologies. The board wants to sell 20,000 units per year of the spearhead. Internally, it is called “TOL” as in “top of the line”, or in German “toll” (cool.)
In May, Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke had already dropped hints of a new flagship Opel. He said the car would be a crossover between SUV and station wagon. Another X6 fighter, this time from Rüsselsheim?
Someone needs to tell Opel that in Europe, one does not need to be ashamed of big cars, but one should be ashamed if the only big car you can afford is an Opel.
"Automotive News Europe [sub] must have been bar-hopping with German auto execs." Or the News of the World techniques have invaded the continent and moved up-/down-scale (I'm not really sure which applies) from hacking the phones of royals and clebs to doing the same with automotive honchos and/or unionistias... "Internally, it is called “TOL” as in “top of the line”, or in German “toll” (cool.)" That's the modern slang meaning, the original meaning of Toll, meant "rabid", or "crazy"...
Ah, the 'big Opel returns' soundbite returns. While it all sounds very optimistic, the bitter reality is that big cars without a 'premium' badge do not sell very well in Europe. If you spend €50k on a car, you're already in Mercedes/BMW/Audi territory. Opel only needs to give a call to Citroën how they are doing with their C6. Every other mainstream brand has already thrown in the towel. Even Alfa Romeo has no offering beyond the 159 as of yet.