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boston 08-21-2012 05:09 PM

Future of Opel
 
With GM still clearly struggling to control Opel, you have to wonder whether spinning it off has value.
It was on the cards some time during the US arm's time in Chapter 11, then everything pulled back. You look at the models developed in Europe that have gotten passports to the US product lines as wonder if GM USA could survive without Opel's research and development center.

This article looks like someone raking over the ashes again. But at a certain point in time, you have to wonder if a fire will break out.

http://wardsauto.com/blog/different-plan-save-opel

swizzle 08-22-2012 04:37 AM

GM doesn't need Opel and Chevy in Europe. They should make Opel an affordable brand, drop the link with PSA that is doomed to die, and get cut throat.

mick78 08-22-2012 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swizzle (Post 441974)
GM doesn't need Opel and Chevy in Europe. They should make Opel an affordable brand, drop the link with PSA that is doomed to die, and get cut throat.

First, Opel and Chevy could work. What however would be essential is more differentiation. The Cruze and Malibu caught up, and in many respects feel exactly like an Opel (not helped by sharing basically same steering wheel and center stacck on all cars, e.g.). Pretty much what VW and Skoda have become, and VW is now trying to fight. Just GM doesn't seem to learn.

There would cleary be a place for a budget brand, just Opel would also need the products to distance itself from Chevy. And that's what GM doesn't give them.

The PSA link is more a development JV, to share costs at engine, platform and other development, plus becoming more flexible with production facilities not producing basically rebadged cars. And whilst Peugeot and Opel are indeed targeting more or less teh same crowd in Europe, Citroen is bought by people who would probably never consider anything form the GM portfolio, so shouldn't harm Opel sales....

wildeye 08-22-2012 01:54 PM

It's really hard for me, as a die-hard fan, to see Opel dying, but even I dislike the brand more and more.

GM's mistakes:
-that stupid US design just doesn't work here, we need own products
-they don't let Opel into growing markets
-less innovation (which was always a key position for Opel)
-they killed Opel's motorsport participation
-nearly every day a new chairman for Opel
-they don't comment on press rumours (they like to see them bleeding)
-let good officers go directly to competitors for the reason of being "american way" idiots
-no sporty cars for Opel

Opel's mistakes:
-stupid PR (false brand ambassadors, misleading ads)
-silly names for the cars

Unlucky economic situation:
-typical Opel buyer is loser of the economical crisis
-young people can't afford new cars (Opel was driven by many young people)
-people rather like to buy an used premium car than a new Opel (mostly caused by some sort of immigrants (those with 150k+ kilometers on tachometer when buying a used premium car) and domestic people adopt it to at least keep up their lifestyle) Please don't hate me for this, it's the truth here in Germany.
-competition is growing
-Opel is not seen as 100% german
-press hates Opel and is to much influenced

mick78 08-22-2012 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildeye (Post 441987)
Unlucky economic situation:
-typical Opel buyer is loser of the economical crisis
-young people can't afford new cars (Opel was driven by many young people)
-people rather like to buy an used premium car than a new Opel (mostly caused by some sort of immigrants (those with 150k+ kilometers on tachometer when buying a used premium car) and domestic people adopt it to at least keep up their lifestyle) Please don't hate me for this, it's the truth here in Germany.
-competition is growing
-Opel is not seen as 100% german
-press hates Opel and is to much influenced

I think you summed up the reasons for the failure of most European "bread and butter" brands.
Economy is an important thing, as the crisis hits the mid of the income spectrum hardest. Who were poor before are still poor, and the rich are still rich, or have even more, as rising sales figures of Porsche & co. show.

The thing with used premiums instead is the same here in Austria, people rather buying a used Audi A3 or A4 with 150-200k km than a new Astra. This is IMO clearly a trend in the last 10 or so years, and can be traced by declining sales figures of corresponding brands...

And of course the "Opel not seen German" argument is with special thanks to GM and their theater around 2008/2009 with selling/not selling/selling/not selling Opel. It was an example of mismanagement....

phaeton 08-23-2012 07:25 AM

Its funny this thread has come up as Opel launches in Australia Saturday week.
The local car magazine had a 6 page write up on the history of Opel & the PR spin is building it up as a VW competitor.

VW (40,000) Audi, MB and BMW are the only Euro brands that crack more than 14,000 units.

Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Skoda, Fiat barely crack 4000 units, so an unknown brand with only one hero model the Astra is going to succeed????

Possibly you could say VW did it with the Golf but the VW name is known in the Australian culture.

Will Opel succeed in one of the most competitive markets on earth? time will tell.

disap.ed 08-23-2012 08:49 AM

Thread title is misleading IMO...

swizzle 08-23-2012 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phaeton (Post 442029)
Its funny this thread has come up as Opel launches in Australia Saturday week....

More mismanagement. Opel will do nothing that couldn't be done under the Holden brand name.

mick78 08-23-2012 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swizzle (Post 442065)
More mismanagement. Opel will do nothing that couldn't be done under the Holden brand name.

As Holden are now Chevrolet and no longer Opel models, probably GM sees a market for Opel there (positioned supposedly above Holden). Although I doubt the Astra will set Australia at fire....

swizzle 08-23-2012 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mick78 (Post 442067)
As Holden are now Chevrolet and no longer Opel models, probably GM sees a market for Opel there (positioned supposedly above Holden). Although I doubt the Astra will set Australia at fire....

If they were going to install a brand above Holden, Buick would make more sense especially with Chinese manufacturing...


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