Category: Opel

By on February 14, 2017

Charles de Gaulle in a Citroen DS (Image: Gnotype/Flickr)

Maybe it’s leftover regional rivalry from generations past, or perhaps Germany just doesn’t want anything to affect its status as Europe’s financial powerhouse. Whatever the deep-seated reason, the residents of Deutschland are none too pleased about a possible French takeover of the Opel brand.

Earlier today, PSA Group, maker of Citroën and Peugeot vehicles, was revealed to be in serious talks to acquire the General Motors-owned automaker (as well as its Vauxhall sister company). Politicians and the head of Opel’s workers union apparently didn’t see this coming.

On the other side of the Maginot Line, the French seem just fine with the idea. Read More >

By on February 14, 2017

opel-insignia-grand-sport-304401

Multiple media sources are reporting that an acquisition of General Motors’ European divisions by France’s PSA Group could occur within a matter of days.

Talks between GM and PSA, maker of the Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands, are reportedly at an “advanced stage.” If finalized, the deal would see GM shed the money-losing divisions it has owned for nearly a century. Read More >

By on September 15, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The United Kingdom isn’t scared of electric vehicles, what with their high fuel prices and limited driving distances (when compared to the U.S.).

However, General Motors has developed a serious case of cold feet on the issue of launching a Vauxhall-branded Chevrolet Bolt, which could prove a decent sales performer. An all-electric range of 238 miles is impressive, so why is the General so shy? Read More >

By on May 19, 2016

Opel-Zafira-Tourer

Volkswagen must be enjoying watching its rival squirm on the end of the same hook.

German regulators have singled out GM’s Opel division over carbon dioxide emissions from some of its vehicles, but the automaker says it isn’t in the wrong.

Facing accusations that it used a ‘defeat device’ to shut off emissions controls, Opel must now submit information to an investigating committee. During a meeting yesterday, Opel executives admitted that the popular Zafira model has software that shuts down exhaust treatment systems at high speeds and altitudes. Read More >

By on May 17, 2016

Opel Zafira Tourer, Image: General Motors

Rumors have swirled for months that Opel would be implicated in the dieselgate scandal. Over the weekend, serious allegations took flight that Opel does in fact use defeat devices in two diesel models.

Opel has been summoned to appear in front of the German Transport Ministry investigative committee this week to answer claims that its cars are capable of skirting emissions laws.

Der Spiegel reported last week the Opel Astra was found to contain software that will deactivate emissions control systems when the outside temperature is either below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) or above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, it discovered the emissions systems do not work when engine speed exceed 2,400 rpm, the car is moving faster than 145 km/h, or ambient air pressure is less than 915 millibar, which would indicate an elevation of more than 850 meters.

Read More >

By on April 29, 2016

Opel Astra 1.4 Turbo Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Viola Procházková/The Truth About Cars

When the previous generation of Astra made it to American shores — dressed in leather, wood and Buick Verano badges — it wasn’t a foreign invasion. Instead, the Astra-cum-Verano was a good soldier coming home; the Astra J always felt like a Buick.

The brand-new Astra, now wearing the K designator, is lighter, more agile and stuffed with lots of new-fangled tech. Europeans love it, as shown by its European Car of the Year award. But will Americans love the next Verano, which is bound to be based on this European compact?

Read More >

By on March 2, 2016

Tesla Model X: Image: Tesla Motors

If you live in the north, you might consider taking your kids tobogganing on Tesla’s NASDAQ trend line.

That, GM wants less rentals, “Imported from Detroit” becomes “Deported from Auburn Hills,” automakers fear the Brexit, and rage grows around pointless concept cars … after the break!

Read More >

By on January 19, 2016

Buick Avista NAIAS

Last week, Opel teased its upcoming GT Concept by saying: “You will see Opel with a fresh pair of eyes.”

That’s just lovely.

But let’s take a step back, look at General Motors’ Alpha platform with a fresh pair of eyes and wonder aloud together: Is it all Alpha from here on out?

Read More >

By on January 19, 2016

A Dutch journalist said Opel dealers are secretly updating emissions control software to bring into compliance cars equipped with the 1.6-liter diesel engine, disguising the fix as an unrelated software update.

Opel issued a statement strongly denying that it was changing emissions of its cars.

Dutch news site VRT News said it tested two cars with and without the updates and said emissions of nitrogen oxides were significantly reduced — more than half in one car and by three-quarters in another car.

Read More >

By on January 4, 2016

Mary Barra with Chevrolet Cruze, Image: GM

General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be the automaker’s first female chairwoman of their board of directors, the automaker said Monday.

Barra takes over for Tim Solso, who will remain on the board.

Barra took over as CEO two years ago and is GM’s first female CEO. When Barra took over as CEO in January 2014, the automaker split the role of CEO and chairman following Dan Akerson’s departure.

Read More >

By on December 3, 2015

 

General Motors on Thursday denied that its own internal testing revealed the Opel Zafira 1.6-liter diesel flouted European emissions and fuel economy standards, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).

A German news magazine program, Monitor, said officials at Opel knew its midsize crossover polluted up to 15-percent more carbon dioxide than advertised, and that the automaker knew its fuel claims couldn’t be substantiated. The report also said that separate testing at a Swiss facility showed the Zafira exceeded advertised fuel consumption and emissions by 20 percent.

Or, in other words: Another chapter in the “Everyone Cheated/Just Volkswagen Cheated” saga.

Read More >

By on October 10, 2015

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As Opel begins its retail roll out of the new Astra across Europe, some enterprising spy shooters have found the Opel’s Chinese-market twin wearing Buick tri-shields and Verano GS badging.

And holy shit, this is about to get very, very confusing.

According to Autohome, the Verano GS — marketed as Buick Weilang GS in China — is expected to be revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show with GM’s 169 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The same engine will be used in North America in the new Malibu, albeit with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Now before you get too excited about those GS badges, it may not mean what you think it means, at least in this case.

Read More >

By on June 16, 2015

DSC_0229-15

They call it the first A-segment CUV in the world, which should be enough to make you run in the opposite direction. An SUV the size of a Fiat 500 is something that should never exist on any planet I want to live on. But, surprisingly, after driving one for a week, I realized that it may, in fact, have a point and a purpose.

And I came close to answering the crucial question – would Opel Adam Rocks make a good Buick David? Or would it be better to import something bigger?

Read More >

By on June 1, 2015

2016 Opel Astra

Thanks to a leak from GM Europe, this is the next-generation 2016 Opel Astra before its planned debut later this year at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Only the five-door hatchback model is shown in the leaked batch, though Opel does plan to offer other variants, including a sedan, wagon and a hotted-up version.

Now, let’s see if engineers at Buick here in North America can figure out how to replace the Opel lightning logo with their own tri-shield.

Read More >

By on May 25, 2015

sergio-marchionne

Sergio Marchionne sent Mary Barra a detailed email in the middle of March in an effort to start merger talks. Barra, CEO of General Motors, was uninterested in the offer and rebuffed Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

It was the first time the two executives had ever spoken, but it wouldn’t be the last Barra would hear of Marchionne’s merger desires.

That’s the story being told by the New York Times today, detailing the lengths to which Marchionne is going to trigger consolidation within the automotive industry.

Read More >

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