Wednesday, 22 November 2017

!NEW! Opel Strengthens Business in South Africa

  • Fresh start: Unitrans Automotive to take over as importer as of January 1, 2018
  • Fresh breeze: Market launch of the new Opel Crossland X crossover
  • Bright prospects: Opel Grandland X, new generation Opel Corsa to follow

Off to new shores: Opel Crossland X will make its debut in South Africa in December.
Fresh start for Opel in South Africa: From January 1, 2018 onwards, the German carmaker will sell its vehicles with the help of Unitrans Automotive, a renowned name in the South African business landscape. The company already operates as a nationwide retailer for many brands and now adds the importer role for Opel. Opel retail in the country will be handled by via 35 dealerships, some of them owned by Unitrans, others by independent owners. As part of the new efforts, two flagship stores for the brand with the “Blitz” are under construction in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The new sales approach is accompanied by the market launch of the new Opel Crossland X – a B-segment CUV – in December.

Heading for new heights: Opel Crossland X will join the Opel Mokka X on the South African market in December.

Opel is in the midst of a sales offensive in South Africa. The new Grandland X, the big brother of the Opel Crossland X, will be introduced in the South African market in the first half of 2018. Subsequently, the brand will also offer the next generation of the Opel Corsa.

Also effective January 1, 2018, the Opel dealers will take on the aftersales business of GM brand Chevrolet. Chevrolet will no longer be offered in South Africa at the turn of the year.

The extension of the South African business is part of PACE!, Opel’s plan for the future presented on November 9. The brand aims to achieve a stronger international footprint and enter more than 20 new export markets by 2022.

“We view South Africa as an important market,” said Matthias Seidl, Opel’s Executive Director Sales Operations, at the presentation of the Opel Crossland X in Johannesburg. “South Africa is a strategic investment for Opel and our aim is to take the brand from strength to strength in South Africa and other key markets.”

Opel Mokka X, with total sales exceeding 800,000 units, is already available in South Africa. Therefore, the entire X-Family that also consists of the Opel Crossland X and the Opel Grandland X will be available on the most important African market in 2018.

Opel Crossland X: The stylish all-round for the city and the countryside

The Opel Mokka X, optionally available with all-wheel drive, is also suitable for off-road driving. The new Opel Crossland X – a real space wonder despite its compact dimensions – joins it in the B-segment. With a length of 4.21 metres, the new Opel Crossland X is 16 centimetres shorter than an Opel Astra while at the same time 10 centimetres higher. Occupants enjoy an elevated seating position and the excellent all-round view it provides. The newcomer offers outstanding innovations that make everyday driving safer, more comfortable and easier. These include innovative Full LED AFL headlights, Head Up Display (HUD) or the 180-degree Panoramic Rear View Camera.

Instrument panel and center stack are clearly structured and horizontally aligned to the driver. Soft touch materials and subtle chrome finishes around the cluster and air vents convey a message of high quality
Both the driver and the front seat passenger can take advantage of the award-winning and AGR-certified (Campaign for Healthier Backs) ergonomic seats with Opel being the only manufacturer to offer such comfort in the segment (in both the Crossland X and the Mokka X). Elsewhere, maximum boot volume of 520 litres – without folding the rear seats down – is class leading. In addition, passengers in the rear have the possibility to adjust their seating position by 150 millimetres in longitudinal direction, thus either increasing legroom or the capacity of the luggage compartment.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Opel / Vauxhall Go Profitable, Electric and Global with PACE!

  • Return to profitability by 2020: 2% automotive recurring operating margin, positive operational free cash flow[1]
  • Lower financial break-even point to 800,000 vehicles
  • Electrification and CO2 leadership: All passenger carlines to be electrified by 2024
  • Improve efficiency towards benchmark levels for manufacturing and logistics cost as well as for wage cost/revenue-ratio
  • Intention to maintain and modernise all plants and to refrain from forced redundancies
  • R&D centre in Rüsselsheim to become a global competence centre for Groupe PSA
  • Enlarge commercial scope: Leverage Opel brand for overseas export opportunities and foster growth of Opel/Vauxhall LCV business
  • PACE! execution to immediately unleash Opel/Vauxhall performance and pave the way to a sustainable future

Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of Groupe PSA, and Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller with the new Opel Grandland X.

Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel Automobile GmbH, today announced the strategic plan PACE! to restore financial fundamentals and enhance sustainable competitiveness and growth. All PACE! initiatives will contribute to the goals of generating a positive operational free cash flow as well as a recurring operating margin for the auto division of 2% in a first phase by 2020 and of 6% by 2026. Combining strengths will unleash annual synergies on Groupe PSA level of €1.1 billion by 2020 and €1.7 billion by 2026. All actions will contribute to a lower financial break-even point for Opel/Vauxhall of 800,000 vehicles, creating a profitable business model whatever the headwinds may be.

Having full access to Groupe PSA technologies, Opel/Vauxhall will become a European CO2 leader. By 2024, all European passenger carlines will be electrified – offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside efficient internal combustion engines. By 2020, Opel/Vauxhall will have four electrified carlines on the market, including the Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X PHEV and the next generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa as a fully electric vehicle.

The company will enhance its competitiveness by 2020 e.g. by reducing costs by €700 per car. Efficiency of marketing expenses will be improved by more than 10%. Overall efficiencies will be increased by reducing complexity across all functions with a ratio G&A/revenue moving from 5.6% to 4.7% and an objective to bring the company towards industry benchmark in terms of wage cost/revenue ratio. Optimising R&D and CapEx at 7-8% of automotive revenue, manufacturing and administration processes by 2020 and releasing working capital of €1.2 billion by 2022 will also contribute to seizing synergies.


Improved competitiveness of the manufacturing plants will lead to new vehicle allocations that will provide a better utilisation rate for the next decade. The two Groupe PSA platforms CMP and EMP2 will be localised in all Opel/Vauxhall plants. To start with, an EMP2 based SUV is planned for Eisenach in 2019; and an EMP2 based D segment vehicle is coming to Rüsselsheim. The allocation of new powertrains in Opel/Vauxhall manufacturing sites will accompany the shift from GM to Groupe PSA engines and transmissions.

PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller.

The plan is designed with the clear intention to maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe. The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes.

All new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles will be engineered in Rüsselsheim, which will be transformed into a global competence centre for the whole Groupe PSA. First areas of expertise are identified, e.g. fuel cells, certain automated driving technologies and driver assistance developments. This will further guarantee German engineering quality and affordable innovations. Altogether, the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall uses for its passenger cars will be reduced from currently 9 to 2 by 2024. Furthermore, the powertrain families will be optimised from currently 10 to 4. “Aligning architecture and powertrain families will substantially reduce development and production complexity, thus allowing scale effects and synergies, contributing to overall profitability,” said Lohscheller.

Opel/Vauxhall will switch to efficient and flexible Groupe PSA vehicle architectures faster than originally expected. From 2024 onwards, all Opel/Vauxhall passenger car models will be based on joint Groupe PSA architectures. Next to come are the Opel/Vauxhall Combo in 2018 and the next generation of the bestselling Opel/Vauxhall Corsa in 2019. This course will be steadily continued with one major launch per year.

Counting every body style, Opel/Vauxhall will launch 9 new models by 2020. This line-up will enable to increase the pricing power of Opel/Vauxhall brands and reduce the gap against benchmark by four points.

Sales growth of the further profiled and strengthened Opel/Vauxhall brands will be supported by initiatives like the start of even more attractive financial offerings as well as full service leasing offers via the Financial Services of Opel and Vauxhall.

Furthermore, Opel will enter more than 20 new export markets by 2022. Beyond that, Opel will explore global midterm overseas profitable export opportunities.

To foster growth in the financially attractive light commercial vehicle (LCV) business, Opel/Vauxhall will launch new models and enter new markets with the clear goal to increase its LCV sales by 25% by 2020 against 2017.

“PACE! has been designed by Opel/Vauxhall for the benefit of our employees as an immediate performance booster,” said Lohscheller.

 [1] Defined as ROI + D&A – capex – Capitalised R&D – Change in NWC

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Euro NCAP Five-Star Rating for Opel Crossland X

Integrity of Opel Crossland X safety concept confirmed in Euro NCAP crash tests

In its latest safety ratings published today, Euro NCAP awarded the Opel Crossland X B-segment crossover the maximum five stars, based on good assessments in the four safety areas adult occupant protection, child occupant protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist. The Crossland X performed especially well in the side barrier tests, where it scored maximum points for both adult and child occupant protection.

In addition to the safety equipment fitted as standard, such as Driver Drowsiness Alert and Lane Departure Warning, the Opel Crossland X also offers optional innovations for even higher driving safety: Forward Collision Alert with pedestrian detection and Automatic Emergency Braking, Driver Drowsiness Detection, high-tech Full LED headlights, 180-degree Panoramic Rear View Camera and Side Blind Spot Alert are just some examples.

Crisp and compact on the outside and especially spacious and versatile on the inside, with trendy two-tone paintwork and cool SUV looks, the Opel Crossland X has already convinced more than 70,000 customers from all over Europe since sales began in March.