Thursday, 26 February 2015

!NEW! Opel Group CEO Calls for Open Discussion Regarding Future CO2 Regulation

Opel and Federal State of Hesse host workshop with top-ranking experts

In Brussels: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann calls for future CO2 regulations for the automotive industry.
Is current CO2 regulation really a success story? What impact would further continuous tightening of emission limits have on the industry and the economy? What are the future alternatives? Experts, including some from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the European Centre of Economic Research (ZEW), tackled all of these questions at a workshop in Brussels hosted by Opel and the Hessian Ministry for Federal and European Affairs. Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann called for future CO2 regulations for the automotive industry to be scrutinized. For the period after 2020, Dr. Neumann proposed a model based on sensible fleet consumption limits and additional factors such as the integration in the European emissions trading scheme. “The future of CO2 targets beyond 2020 is a key topic for the entire industry. Opel wants to start a broad impartial discussion,” said Dr. Neumann.

Such an approach is backed by scientific results: The prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology presented its current study which looks into the advantages and disadvantages of the current systems of regulation. The scientists approached the topic from an economic point of view. The results show that the current regulation, that only considers emission targets of new cars, has weaknesses. It is neither very effective in regards to the climate effect nor under macroeconomic aspects.

Representatives of the European Centre of Economic Research (ZEW) from Mannheim and Professor Andreas Löschel from Münster University showed possible alternatives. “The emissions trading scheme looks an especially viable possibility. This trade scheme has already been applied to power plants and energy intensive industries – why not use it in the transport and traffic sector,” explained Löschel. John Reilly from the MIT added that including the emissions trade scheme in the CO2 regulation for the traffic sector would save the EU economy 25 to 60 billion euro every year.

Meeting at Brussels: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and Jens Gieseke (on right), member of the EU parliament.
The presentations by the scientists were deliberated extensively during a following panel discussion. In addition to the representatives of the MIT and ZEW, high-ranking European officials such as Philip Owen from the Directorate General for Climate of the European Commission and EU parliamentarian Jens Gieseke along with Richard Smokers from the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) attended.

Experts in Brussels (from left): Friedrich von Heusinger (representative of Hesse at the EU), Johan Willems (Vice President Communications Opel Group), presenter Holger Kramer, Jens Gieseke (member of the EU parliament), CEO Opel Group Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Joachim Koschnicke (Vice President Public Policy Opel Group), John Heywood (professor engineering, MIT), Professor Andreas Löschel (University of Münster), Richard Smokers (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research / TNO), Philip 
The current CO2 regulation for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles within the European Union concentrates on the average consumption of the new car fleet of each manufacturer in the European Union. Targets of 130 grams per kilometer for this year and 95 grams per kilometer for 2021 have been fixed. Because this regulation only takes the new car fleet into consideration it ignores most of the actual CO2 emissions. The same can be said about the actual performance and way of driving. In addition, the automotive industry is being treated a lot harsher than other industries. “We need a fair playing field for CO2 regulation. The time has come to work on the framework conditions,” said Dr. Neumann.

Opel in one of the technologically leading European automotive companies and sets standards in fuel efficiency. The most economical diesel version of the new Corsa for example reduces CO2 emission to 82 grams per kilometer in the combined cycle which is equivalent to 3.1 liters per 100 kilometers, making the new Corsa the most economical Opel presently on the market and the most economical diesel available.

The company is currently in the middle of the largest product offensive in its history. 17 new economical engines and 27 new models will be brought to market by 2018. Opel is optimistic to be able meet the fixed fleet target by 2021 with its ultra-modern models and engines.

Opel has made considerable progress in emissions reduction in recent years. According to EU statistics, the emissions average of all new cars sold by General Motors in the European Union from 2000 to 2013 dropped by almost one fifth to 132.8 grams of CO2 per kilometer. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

!NEW! Award Ceremony: Opel Group CEO Dr. Neumann Accepts the AUTOBEST 2015 Award for the New Corsa

  • Large gala in Zagreb: Festive evening with international guests
  • Second win in a row: New Opel Corsa repeats the success of its predecessor
  • “Best Buy Car of Europe for 2015”: New Corsa convinces jury from 15 countries

Visit to Zagreb: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and the new, award-winning Corsa in front of the Croatian National Theater.
Yesterday evening was entirely dedicated to the new Opel Corsa. Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann accepted the prestigious AUTOBEST 2015 award in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. The new small car from Rüsselsheim saw off the competition posed by the Hyundai i20, Skoda Fabia and Citroën C4 Cactus mainly because of its outstanding price-performance ratio and reaped the title of “Best Buy Car of Europe for 2015”.

AUTOBEST gala: Jury chairman Dan Vardie with Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann at the award ceremony in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. 
“We at Opel are extremely proud to receive the highly prestigious AUTOBEST 2015 award for our new Corsa. I would like to thank the jury on behalf of the entire team. Our customers obviously agree too. 120,000 orders for the new Corsa since its world premiere in Paris last October are further proof that we will continue the Corsa’s success story with this fifth generation after having already sold 12.4 million Corsa in the last 32 years,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Neumann at the gala in Zagreb.

Great honor: Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann received the “Best Buy Car of Europe for 2015“ award from AUTOBEST President Ilia Seliktar (right) for the new Opel Corsa. Actress and singer Mila Elegovic hosted the event.
Speaking on behalf of the entire jury, made up of members from 15 central and eastern European countries, jury chairman Dan Vardie added: “The new Corsa proved to be a great small car. All the jury members noticed the arguments that made the new Opel `The Best Buy Car of Europe in 2015`.”

Prominent guests from media and politics attended the gala in Zagreb hosted by actress and singer Mila Elegovic.

Three angels for Corsa: The delightful Opel brand ambassadors Mila Elegovic, Aleksandra Dojcinovic and Renata Sopek (from left to right) present the “Best Buy Car of Europe for 2015“ in Zagreb - New Opel Corsa.
The AUTOBEST award is extremely popular and highly respected in a market comprising around 300 million people. The Corsa is one of the most important cars for Opel with its sales accounting for around one quarter of the brand’s overall sales. The fourth generation Corsa D, which also received the AUTOBEST award, was responsible for almost three million sales between 2006 and 2014. The new Corsa is a cornerstone of Opel’s current product offensive. Opel will bring 27 new cars and 17 new engines to market by 2018. 

!NEW! Fifth-generation Opel Corsa arrives in South Africa

·  All new fifth-generation Opel Corsa set to continue strong 32-year history

·  Corsa redefines segment with innovative technology

· Comfortable, strong and economical: New chassis and powertrain technology raise standards

The all new fifth generation Opel Corsa will reach Opel dealerships in South Africa in March. The local introduction comes just four months after the Corsa’s international premier at last year’s Paris Motor Show.

All new fifth generation Opel Corsa will reach Opel dealerships in South Africa in March.
The Opel Corsa has established itself as a perennial bestseller through four model generations spanning 32 years, with over 12.4 million units sold globally. Together with the Astra, it is Opel’s most popular model, accounting for over a quarter of the company’s sales every year. The new fifth generation Corsa is set to build on its reputation as an all-rounder by offering segment-leading levels of comfort, precision and efficiency.

Initially, the new Corsa will be made available with Opel’s state-of-the-art three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged ecoFLEX engine with three trim levels: Cosmo, Enjoy, and Essentia.

“We have shifted the goal posts with a totally convincing and desirable small car that makes driving easier and more fun. The new Corsa has class leading connectivity, convenience and comfort as well as driving satisfaction,” says Opel Brand Manager at General Motors South Africa, Christopher Cradock.

“Affordability and value-for-money have always been Corsa hallmarks and with the new vehicle, these are set to continue. We have ensured that all derivatives in the new Corsa range adopt a no-compromise approach to those most important vehicle aspects, along with the availability of ‘option packs’ to enhance the vehicle to the owner’s taste and satisfaction.”

With its inspiring design, innovative technology and engaging drive, the new Corsa will appeal to single men and women, professionals with young families, and young-at-heart drivers who love great cars and want something that will set them apart from the crowd.

Sculptural artistry meets German engineering

The exterior design of the new Corsa is all about dramatic surfaces with crisp sculptured lines. As with the ADAM, the design of the new Corsa is ruled by Opel’s latest design philosophy of ‘sculptural artistry meets German engineering’. This design language can be seen in the complex curvature of all the surfaces, reinforced by quality details such as the Opel signature ‘wing’ LED daytime running lights and silver vision bulbs in the indicator lights to avoid an irritating yellow tint when unlit.

Opel signature ‘wing’ LED daytime running lights and Silver Vision bulbs in the indicator lights to avoid an irritating yellow tint when unlit.
From the front, the new Corsa is immediately recognisable as a member of the new Opel family. The bold face is characterised by the ‘wing’ shaped headlights which incorporate the daytime running lights and the low, sporty trapezoidal grille, with its dynamic chrome bar supporting the Opel emblem. The front fog lights are embedded in two low, outward-lying but graphically-connected air inlets with model-specific chrome trim, giving the new Corsa an even wider appearance.

From the side, the belt line extends upwards to create an energetic connection with the roof spoiler. The sculpted flanks feature Opel’s dynamic ‘blade’ side body signature.

At the rear, wide horizontally-split tail lights help to visually widen the car and flow through to the rear shoulders, contributing to the vehicle’s athletic stance. The tail lights also incorporate the ‘wing’ motif when illuminated, with the lower bumper visually connected to the body side ‘blade’ by design lines which flow into the license plate pocket. The rear roofline in particular has undergone specific aerodynamic tweaking for optimised efficiency and stability.

Interior with high-class materials and workmanship

Sculptural harmonious surfaces and graceful flowing lines are key elements in the design of the new Corsa’s interior. The sculptural wing-shaped instrument panel (IP) top-pad combines a subtle blend of taut surfaces and flowing transitions bordered by elegant décor. The décor spans the full length of the instrument panel emphasising the width and spaciousness of the interior.

Premium, high quality materials like those used for the soft IP top-pad, or the décor elements dressed in rich satin chrome, are all worthy of vehicles from much higher segments. Each material used in the new Corsa is carefully chosen to support the premium character of the interior, clearly reflecting a level of quality and craftsmanship born of German engineering.

The three-dimensionally-sculpted steering wheel with the small and efficiently-packaged airbag cover is designed to not only look great, but with ergonomics at the forefront. The switches are integrated into the overall design with extreme precision and framed by a tasteful, satin chrome bezel.

The round, chrono-styled instruments and satin chrome framed switches convey an aura of sporty precision.

Eye-catching: The new Corsa comes with a totally new interior that enhances the perception of high quality and spaciousness, including best-connected IntelliLink infotainment technology and ultra-modern driver assistance systems
The three configurations - Essentia, Enjoy and Cosmo – along with various décor, give the customer an individual and flexible choice. In addition to sophisticated 3D embossed fabrics, a two-tone accent colour which matches the seats wraps from the lower IP into the door trim, visually widening the cabin and creating an ambience more typical of upmarket cars.

The new Corsa also introduces an industry-first seat fabric printing technology. This unique technology enables an unprecedented level of trim flexibility, as well as endless creative opportunities. Once again this level of detail shows Opel to be an innovative pioneer.

The high quality of design execution, materials and workmanship can be found throughout the entire interior. In the dynamic, deeply-sculpted front door panels, pleasantly soft materials are combined with useful solutions such as a compartment for 1.5-litre bottles. The centre console also includes convenient details such as three cup holders. In front of the gear lever, there is an innovative, flexible cup holder.

In addition to the high quality of the cabin, Opel also made it a major objective of the new design to refine the aerodynamics of the vehicle in order to reduce interior noise. Special sealing on the B-pillar, door handles, side- and rear windows along with an optimised bonnet edge reduce wind noise significantly by 2.3 dB.

All in all, the new Corsa boasts a new level of quality, material and workmanship that is usually expected in cars from higher segments. Thereby, Opel substantiates its quality standard of also offering small cars with a premium touch at affordable prices.

New chassis and suspension

Chassis engineers in charge of developing the fifth-generation Opel Corsa set themselves the objective of delighting future customers with a driving experience comparable to the one provided by larger, more expensive cars in terms of comfort and precision. They lowered the centre of gravity of the new Corsa by 5 millimetres and completely redesigned its chassis and steering systems.

New chassis and steering systems
The new Corsa’s chassis does not inherit a single component from the outgoing model. Every conceivable setscrew was turned in order to achieve a better driving experience with new levels of comfort, precision and enjoyment. At the same time, engineers concentrated on finding the optimal balance between enjoyable dynamics and predictable, safe road holding.

New chassis and steering systems: For driving experience comparable to larger, more expensive cars in terms of comfort and precision
In addition to its 5 mm-lower centre of gravity, the Corsa receives a new, stiffer, redesigned chassis. The front MacPherson suspension has a new geometry with new front knuckles which improve the vehicle’s roll behaviour, steering response and understeer behaviour. A new, reinforced sub-frame increases torsional rigidity, while dual strut mounts provide improved responsiveness on uneven surfaces.

Furthermore, the new spring rates and damper characteristics in the front reduce the pitching moment during sharp braking manoeuvres. This results in the Corsa remaining controllable in case of emergency braking, even for inexperienced drivers. The rear axle torsion bar has been redesigned as well, and an enhanced stabiliser has been added to reduce tilting for better cornering compliance and stability.

New steering system with numerous innovations

In order to improve directional stability, the Opel engineers changed the mounting points of the rack-and-pinion steering shaft and optimised its geometry. A newly-constructed mounting for the steering column saves space which is filled with additional padding material and increases driver safety in case of a collision. Furthermore, the steering column possesses special impact absorbers.

The development of a completely new electrical architecture for the fifth generation Corsa enables a more sophisticated level of interaction between its various systems. Optimised software for the electrical and speed-dependent power steering adds additional possibilities. For instance, all new Corsa models are equipped with a new standard ‘City Mode’ steering setting which allows reduced steering effort at low speeds for easing manoeuvres. City Mode is activated at the press of a button, located on the centre console.

Another innovative feature is the active cornering component of the Corsa’s steering which aids the driver in crosswinds and on convex roads. Amongst others, the software is fed with the data from Opel’s ninth-generation Electronic Stability Program (ESP Plus). This system takes care of no less than eleven different functions, including for example, new Hill Start Assist.

The fifth-generation Corsa can also be specified with Opel’s Advanced Parking Assistant 2 (APA2) in Enjoy and Cosmo trim. This system recognises parallel and perpendicular parking spaces and takes over the steering, meaning that the driver only has to control the pedals and gears.

Well-rounded: Brakes and wheels
The base model new Corsa, is fitted with 15-inch wheels and 215-width tyres with ventilated front and solid rear discs which can easily cope with high stress. Pedal feel is distinguished by an exactly-defined pressure point and excellent controllability. The braking system is assisted by electronic aids which permanently receive information from the ABS/ESP sensors. For example, the systems recognise whether the braking manoeuvre is being performed while cornering and distributes the braking force to all four wheels depending on the load.

A car’s life in high speed: fifth-generation Opel Corsa at the test centre

The engineers at Opel’s Test Centre in Dudenhofen have tested the new generation Corsa extensively over thousands of kilometres before allowing it to be presented to customers. The Opel Development Team pushed the new Corsa to its limits during the tests: the development prototypes had to master 40 000 kilometres on the torture track, the high speed circuit and in hilly terrain, equivalent to 160 000 kilometres on ‘normal’ roads. Within only 24 weeks, these development prototypes were put through burdens that a production car would normally only encounter during its entire life cycle.

The new Corsa was asked to prove its resilience time and time again on the torture track. The track delivers exactly what its name promises: more than 900 metres of potholes, humps, the ‘washboard’, a cobbled section and a pavé track. It is a really tough test for the chassis, which will most probably never go through such torture in real life – but the Corsa mastered it comfortably. To put the steering, transmission and brakes to the test, the new Corsa also successfully completed the hill track thousands of times.

On Dudenhofen’s 40-degree banked circuit without lateral forces, engineers can test the stability at high speed. Another circuit which is used during the testing procedure has rising and falling gradients, ranging from 8- to 30 percent, with different road surfaces and a serpentine section including hairpin turns – similar to conditions found in alpine mountains.

The endurance test, which all new Opel models are put through, was decisive for the new generation Corsa. The longest track at the test centre offers many different road surfaces including asphalt and cobblestones, bumps and numerous curves. Here engineers test if the performance and quality they fine-tuned and approved in the development vehicles have been successfully transferred to the production vehicles. This final quality control ensures that any minute disturbances or doubts are eradicated, thus guaranteeing that the new Corsa reaches the customers perfectly aligned with the stringent performance and quality targets set at the beginning of its development.

Frugal, silent, strong: ultra-modern powertrain

The new Corsa benefits from Opel’s biggest powertrain offensive in the company’s history which includes three new-generation engine families and will see 17 new engines introduced by 2018.

The new Corsa receives Opel’s state-of-the-art 1.0 litre ecoFLEX Direct Injection Turbo engine. First introduced in the recently-launched Opel ADAM, it also is the highlight of the fifth-generation Corsa. The engine offers outstandingly sophisticated driving refinement and responsiveness together with frugal fuel consumption – proving that high driving comfort and pleasure can be combined with excellent efficiency.

Developed from a blank sheet of paper, this engine is the first of a new family of small petrol three- and four-cylinder units which will be progressively introduced in the Opel range. A three-cylinder architecture has been selected to reach new levels of fuel efficiency for petrol-powered cars. As some customers hesitate to opt for three-cylinder engines due to their rather high level of noise and vibration, the 200 engineers who developed Opel’s new generation unit in Rüsselsheim over the last three-and-a-half years put comfort at the top of their development priority list.

New Opel 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo 
As a result, Opel’s three-cylinder is the quietest three-cylinder unit ever built. Numerous sound engineering measures contribute to the engine’s benchmark refinement, as 40 components and sub-groups have been acoustically-optimised from the beginning of development – such as the cylinder block as well as the structurally isolated fuel injection system and crankshaft.

In addition, a sump-mounted counter-rotating balance shaft further reduces noise and vibration – a universally unique feature for a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

The second development priority of the new-generation 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine was to deliver excellent responsiveness – not only the quietness but also the pleasure provided will surprise customers. The 85 kW engine excels in delivering strong low-end torque with extreme efficiency, pumping out 170 Nm from just 1 800 rpm.

New Opel Corsa with 1.0 ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo 
The engine’s responsiveness is particularly evident during acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h, a decisive speed range for overtaking, when this compact powerhouse belies its size by delivering strong power from low rpm. The Corsa makes this transition in just 10.4 seconds.

Start/stop technology is fitted as standard to boost fuel economy, with the Corsa consuming just 5.0-litres per 100 km over the combined cycle, equating to only 119 g/km CO2 emissions.

State-of-the-art technologies in Opel’s new generation three-cylinder engine include high-pressure direct fuel injection, an ultra-compact turbocharging system and continuously variable valve timing (both intake and exhaust sides). Lightweight, all-aluminium construction, with a cylinder head-integrated exhaust manifold, contributes to low weight: the 1.0 ecoFLEX Direct Injection Turbo tips the scales at just 106 kg. The engine is mated to an all-new, compact six-speed manual gearbox.

New Opel Transmission M1X
The new six-speed manual gearbox, developed under the code M1X, is distinguished by its improved efficiency and outstanding shift quality. Opel engineers have achieved greater operating efficiency through optimally-stepped gear ratios and a low-friction design for internal components. Weighing less than 40 kg, this is one of the lightest manual gearboxes on the market.

Driver Assists play leading safety role

The new Corsa not only offers a new driving experience with improved comfort and precision thanks to its new chassis and steering systems – it also makes driving easier and safer with advanced assistance systems. Particularly in hectic city driving conditions, they help the driver in a variety of ways.

At the touch of a button, the standard-fitment City Mode increases power assistance at lower speeds, which is particularly useful when manoeuvring in congested urban areas.

Many of the new Corsa’s driver assistance systems are unrivalled in its class. These include bi-xenon headlamps on selected models with static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights. The static cornering lights are triggered when the indicators are activated or when reverse gear is selected, providing added illumination of corners and obstacles.

Bi-xenon headlamps owith static cornering lights and LED daytime running lights
This impressive system, that so far has only been available in vehicles in higher segments, offers improved lighting range, brightness and colour intensity – a decisive plus for visibility and safety. In addition, it offers lower power consumption and a much longer service life. Forming part of the ‘Sight and Light Pack’, the bi-xenon headlights are mated to an auto-dimming interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlight control.

Opel’s new-generation Advanced Park Assist 2 (APA2), available as an option on Enjoy and Cosmo derivatives, identifies suitable parking spaces under 30 km/h and automatically parks the vehicle, without the driver touching the wheel. The ultrasonic sensor-based system, which uses front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, measures parallel or perpendicular parking spots, calculates the vehicle’s trajectory and automatically steers the Corsa into a space. The driver just controls acceleration, deceleration and gear selection.

APA2 partners with Side Blind Spot Alert, which also uses the ultrasonic sensors to warn the driver of an imminent collision when changing lanes. The sensors have a range of three metres to the left and right of the car, enabling them to detect objects or other vehicles in the driver’s blind spot. Whenever another vehicle comes within range of the sensors, a warning LED illuminates in the relevant exterior door mirror. Impressively, the system is active up to 140 km/h.

New Opel Corsa, Side Blind Spot Alert 
All new Corsa models feature a raft of standard safety equipment as well, ensuring nothing is left to chance. These include ABS with EBD and BAS, adaptive brake lights and automatic hazard warning lights, disc brakes all-round, the latest Electronic Stability Programme (ESP Plus), six airbags, a tyre pressure monitoring system, a pedal release system, ISOFIX child seat anchor points, pretensioned seat belts, a seat belt reminder and an anti-theft alarm and immobiliser.

ESP Plus includes a number of advanced assistance systems:

Straight Line Stability Control recognises and tendency towards instability under braking and adjusts brake pressure accordingly

Cornering Brake Control improves stability during cornering by reducing brake pressure of individual wheels

Drag Torque Control prevents loss of grip due to engine brake torque on slippery roads

Active Rollover Protection reacts in cases of high speeds and sharp curves, whereby ESP Plus slows the vehicle down to prevent rolling over, for example when a loaded roof carrier is fitted

Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist automatically raises braking pressure to compensate potential brake fade

Hill Start Assist prevents downhill movement of the vehicle when pulling off on an uphill slops without using the handbrake

More connectivity and convenience for meaningful innovation

Opel’s award-winning IntelliLink infotainment system, which brings the connected world of smartphones and apps into the car, is available as an option on Enjoy and Essentia models, and standard on Cosmo. IntelliLink is fully compatible with the latest Android and Apple iOS-based smartphones.

IntelliLink has a standard seven-inch colour touchscreen and its home page provides access to five major functions: phone, audio, gallery, settings and apps. Audio streaming via Bluetooth and USB also includes Gracenote music management and identification technology.

New Opel Corsa IntelliLink: BringGo Navigation App 
BringGo is IntelliLink’s navigation app. It can be easily downloaded from the phone’s app store and, once downloaded, the map data remains installed on the user’s smartphone, which means Corsa owners do not need an ongoing smartphone broadband connection to use the BringGo navigation system. BringGo solely uses the smartphone’s GPS to locate the Corsa. BringGo also provides functionality for live traffic updates, accident information, Points of Interest (POIs) and Google search.

The Stitcher app is a useful global podcast internet radio service which lets users listen to programmes live, or after they have been broadcast. Once Stitcher is downloaded to the smartphone, Corsa owners can access more than 10 000 podcasts on demand, including radio shows and live stations from around the world, via the Corsa’s IntelliLink touchscreen.

New Opel Corsa IntelliLink: With access to global network of 70 000 radio stations, the TuneIn app has the power to offer entertainment to suit the tastes of every listener.
With access to a global network of 70 000 radio stations, the TuneIn app has the power to offer entertainment to suit the tastes of every listener. The integration of Apple iOS devices within IntelliLink also enables Siri Eyes Free voice control. This makes it possible for drivers to make calls, play music, send and receive messages and emails with received messages read out aloud, and access calendar functions like set alarms, check reminders or respond to meeting requests all with their eyes on the road and hand on the wheel.

Spoiled for choice - Three model range

The new Opel Corsa 1.0T Essentia kicks off the new 5-door range, featuring the new ecoFLEX engine and six-speed manual gearbox. Standard equipment includes start/stop engine control, a gear shift indicator, halogen daytime running lights, City Mode steering, electric windows up front, electric mirror adjustment, tinted glass, a folding key, 15-inch steel wheels, GEMSTONE black cloth upholstery, Gunpowder Grey décor, single-piece folding rear seats and a storage compartment beneath the front passenger seat.

Two option packs are available for the new Corsa Essentia. Option Pack 1 includes air conditioning, a 6-speaker radio/CD audio system which includes Bluetooth, USB and aux compatibility, and steering wheel audio controls. Option Pack 2 includes 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and IntelliLink.

The new Corsa 1.0T Enjoy raises the Essentia’s bar with the addition of standard-fitment items like the audio system and steering wheel audio controls, an on-board trip computer, an accented gear knob and steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats, LED daytime running lights, front fog lamps, air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels and colour-coded door handles.

Option Pack 1 on the Corsa Enjoy includes IntelliLink while Option Pack 2 includes IntelliLink, APA2, Side Blind Spot Alert and front and rear parking sensors.

Topping the range is the new Corsa 1.0T Cosmo. Still featuring the new six-speed manual transmission as with all other models, the Cosmo really ups the ante with luxurious extras, all fitted as standard.

These include cruise control with a speed limiter (active from speeds above 25 km/h), bi-xenon headlights with cornering light control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights, a leather steering wheel, IntelliLink, chrome detailing, GRAPHIK black upholstery with Morrocana vinyl bolsters, RHUTHENIUM décor, silver highlights on the instrument cluster, interior ambient lighting, flexible cup holders and two seat-back pockets.

APA2, Side Blind Spot Alert and the front and rear parking sensors are all available in Option Pack 1 on the Corsa Cosmo.

Affordable new German excellence

All new Opel Corsa derivatives will be sold as standard with Opel’s 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and a 3-year/ 60 000 km service plan.


Corsa 1.0T Essentia                          R 185 500

Corsa 1.0T Enjoy                              R 216 200

Corsa 1.0T Cosmo                            R 236 300

Option Packages:

Corsa Essentia Option Pack 1: Radio with Bluetooth & USB, AC                 R 12,200

Corsa Essentia Option Pack 2: IntelliLink, AC, 15” alloy wheels      R 15,600

Corsa Enjoy Option Pack 1: IntelliLink                                             R 4,000

Corsa Enjoy Option Pack 2: IntelliLink, Advanced Park Assist 2                 R 8,000

Corsa Cosmo Option Pack 1: Advanced Park Assist 2                                R 5,000

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

!NEW! Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visits GM Powertrain Europe

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi today visited the GM Powertrain Europe engineering center in Turin to get an in-depth insight into the latest diesel powertrain innovations. Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, Opel Group CEO and General Motors Executive Vice President & President Europe, and Pierpaolo Antonioli, CEO of GMPT-E, informed the Italian Prime Minister about the company’s strategies for further reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Part of the agenda was a visit of a climatic test-cell as well as the Hardware-in-the-Loop Laboratory, and participation in an All-Employee-Meeting.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi participated in an all-employee-meeting during his visit to the GM Powertrain Europe engineering center in Turin.
GM Powertrain Europe is the only center of innovation and development for diesel engines and related electronic control of GM globally and designs propulsion systems for Opel, Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. From design to the study of virtual components or tests on the engine benches – everything takes place in the laboratories and test cells of GM Powertrain Europe in Turin.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi additionally visited one highly dynamic test bench for testing emissions achieved through an investment of 60 million euro. He also met some young engineers for discussions.

With its state-of-the-art equipment, GM Powertrain Europe Turin represents a strategic asset for GM globally. In Europe, the engineering center provides Opel vehicles with premium diesel technology, like the 1.6 CDTI engine, the quietest diesel in its class that has earned the nickname ‘Whisper Diesel’. Diesel engines of the future which are designed in Turin all share common characteristics: high-tech solutions offering moderate fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“The Turin engineering center and the people working here play an important role in our product offensive. We will bring 27 new models and 17 new engines to the market by 2018. Diesel-powered cars account for more than half the market in Europe, and the engines we develop in Turin meet the highest customer expectations for durability, efficiency and performance”, said Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Opel Group President Dr. Karl- Thomas Neumann and CEO of E-GMPT Pierpaolo Antonioli visit Center GMPT-E of Turin
In ten years, GM Powertrain Europe has seen its workforce grow annually by 25 percent, making the center one of the most important employers in the region. To date, the company has approximately 650, highly qualified employees, with an average age of 35 years.

“GM Powertrain Europe has helped to create a generation of technicians and highly qualified managers with international potential. It also generates supply contracts to local companies and engineering services with a volume of more than 170 million euro every year. We are becoming a magnet for other companies that see in us a real opportunity for growth in the area”, Pierpaolo Antonioli said.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

!NEW! Opel/Vauxhall sales up more than 7 Percent in Europe in January

  • Opel / Vauxhall growing much stronger than the overall market
  • Biggest growth amongst the top five passenger car brands 

Bestseller: Sales of the Opel Mokka SUV were up 17 percent in Europe.
Opel/Vauxhall has started 2015 with a considerable increase in sales. The Rüsselsheim-based carmaker posted figures of 72,200 cars sold throughout Europe in January – an increase of 7.4 percent – making Opel the fastest growing brand amongst the top five car brands in Europe. Opel outperformed the overall market that only grew by one percent. Opel’s share on the European vehicle market grew by more than 0.3 percent points to around 5.4 percent in January.

The company delivered notably improved figures in western European markets such as France (increase of around 34 percent), Italy (increase of around 29 percent), Spain (increase of around 23 percent), the UK (increase of around 13 percent) and Germany (increase of around 9 percent). Opel’s biggest growth came in Portugal where sales were up by almost two thirds. In total Opel increased its sales in 15 markets and the market share was up in 13 markets.

New Opel Corsa achieved sales of almost 22,000 units an increase of about 45 percent
Opel’s successful new models helped to fuel the brand growth in Europe. The Corsa achieved sales of almost 22,000 units an increase of about 45 percent and the ADAM around 4,500 units an increase of around one third compared to last year. Elsewhere, sales of the Mokka were up 17 percent and of the Meriva, by almost a quarter.

Opel ADAM around 4,500 units an increase of around one third compared to last year.
“The good start to the year despite some difficult circumstances is proof that our product offensive is working,” said Peter Christian Küspert, Vice President Sales & Aftersales Opel Group. “The new Corsa, KARL and the new Astra coming later this year will all help increase sales.”

New Opel KARL

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

!NEW! Opel Rüsselsheim Plant Debut: First Insignia for Holden

  • Start of regular production of the Holden Insignia VXR in the main plant in Rüsselsheim
  • Insignia, Astra and Cascada new in the portfolio of the Australian sister brand
  • Intensified cooperation with the other GM brands

First Insignia for Australia: Start of regular production of the Holden Insignia VXR in the main plant in Rüsselsheim.
Cooperation between Opel and its sister brands within General Motors has entered a new era. The first Holden rolled off the production line in Rüsselsheim today – a Silver Lake coloured Insignia VXR with 325 hp for the markets in Australia and New Zealand. Opel wants to intensify the cooperation with the other GM brands continuously in the years to come. The production of Holden vehicles plays an important part in this strategy.

Thumbs up: Rüsselsheim plant director Axel Scheiben (left), Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann and the production team with the first Holden Insignia made in Germany.
“We will work closely with our Australian partner whenever it makes sense in the coming years,” said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “It is not only further proof for the development expertise of our engineers and the attractiveness of our products it also increases the capacity utilization of our plants. We are delighted that our successful flagship will also be available in Australia and New Zealand.”

“Astra, Cascada and Insignia are renowned in Europe for their performance credentials and premium execution, making them the perfect addition to Holden’s range as we continue to offer more choice for our customers,” said Bill Mott, Holden Executive Director of Marketing.

Opel Insignia OPC
The Holden Insignia VXR is known as the Opel Insignia OPC in mainland Europe. The Rüsselsheim-based carmaker announced in May 2014 that it would be exporting European vehicles under the Holden badge from 2015.

In addition to the Insignia VXR, the Astra GTC and the especially sporty Astra VXR (the equivalent of the Astra OPC) will also be exported to Australia and New Zealand as Holdens. The elegant Cascada convertible will complete the line-up.

Holden Cascada convertible and Astra VXR
Holden and Opel share very similar core brand values, including the commitment to performance, engineering excellence, vehicle dynamics and technology. In future, Holden will source roughly one third of its future product line-up from Opel.

The GM-internal cooperation with Holden is not the only one announced by Opel in recent months. A few weeks ago, Buick presented the Cascada convertible at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Buick Cascada convertible
Furthermore, it was announced last year that Opel would produce a new Buick model for the US market in Rüsselsheim later this decade.

New Buick Envision

Monday, 9 February 2015

!NEW! Only 94 g/km CO2: Opel Astra cleaner and more frugal than ever before

Opel Bestseller with ultra-modern powertrain only uses 3.6 l/100 km

Opel Astra with the 81 kW/110 hp 1.6 CDTI now only emits 94 grams of CO2 per kilometer (down 3g/km) – with the 100 kW/136 hp 1.6 CDTI it only emits 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer (down 5g/km).
Continuous improvement is the motto: launched in spring 2014, the Opel Astra with the new generation 1.6-liter turbo diesel had already earned Germany’s A+ energy efficiency label and has become the most efficient compact class car in Opel’s history. The further optimized Astra with the 81 kW/110 hp 1.6 CDTI now only emits 94 grams of CO2 per kilometer (vs 97 grams so far), which is equivalent to 3.6 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (0.1 liter less than before) in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). As for the improved 100 kW/136 hp output version, it now only emits 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer (5 grams less than before) and needs 3.7 liters of diesel (0.2 liter less) in the NEDC, thus seeing even the more powerful Astra whisper diesel crack the 100-gram-barrier. And to make things even better – the new ‘eco’ Astra 1.6 CDTI, which will be available shortly, will cost the same as the current version. This showcases how committed Opel is in its current powertrain offensive, the most impressive in its history. In just 18 months, Opel has completely renewed its diesel portfolio. The reworked and even more frugal Astra 1.6 CDTI models complete the trio around the new, 82 gram Corsa 1.3 CDTI ‘eco champion’ and the new Insignia 2.0 CDTI, which will both also hit the dealerships in the upcoming weeks.

“Our new powertrains demonstrate how modern mobility works. CO2 reduction without making compromises on performance and comfort is the motto,” said Charles Klein, Vice President Vehicle Engineering Europe. “We now offer extremely efficient turbo diesels in every vehicle class – from our new Corsa with phenomenal 82 g/km of CO2 to the Astra and the midsize flagship, the Insignia.”

CO2 reduction without compromising driving pleasure and comfort

Just a few months after introducing the new generation 1.6 CDTI engine into the Astra, the Opel engineers have continued working on perfecting it, so that it now delivers up to five percent less emissions and consumption while maintaining performance and comfort. New low-friction components have been used for both the chassis and the bodywork: the optimized drive shafts or the especially low-rolling-resistance tires are just two examples. In addition, the Aero Package including a lowered chassis and active radiator shutters  helps reduce aerodynamic drag - The active shutters open and close automatically depending on engine temperature and speed. Furthermore, the engine specialists worked meticulously on improving the combustion process even further. The result of all these measures: The Astra with the new generation 1.6-liter whisper diesel and 81 kW/110 hp now emits three grams less CO2 per kilometer whereas the 100 kW/136 hp version can boast an impressive reduction of five grams per kilometer while driving performance was maintained for both output levels. The more powerful version propels the Astra sedan to 100 km/h in 10.1 seconds from a standing start and achieves maximum speed of 205 km/h.

Quiet by nature: The Opel Astra with the new generation 1.6-liter whisper diesel can be ordered with either 81 kW/110 hp or 100 kW/136 hp. 
Uncompromising comfort also continues to be key in all ‘eco Astras’ including the five-door, sedan and Sport Tourer variants. From AGR (German Healthy Back Campaign) stamped ergonomic front seats right up to Opel’s modern IntelliLink infotainment system – numerous optional equipment features are available to create a pleasant, relaxing and fully connected trip. In addition, Opel offers safety relevant premium technologies such as the Opel Eye front camera with Following Distance Indication, Forward Collision Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning or the rearview camera, Park Assist with parking spot recognition and audiovisual parking assistance, Side Blind Spot Alert and the safety lighting system AFL+.

Combined with interior spaciousness and loading volume of up to 1,550 liters for the station wagon, this makes the Astra the perfect car for work or leisure time.

From Opel Corsa eco-champion to the dynamic diesel in Opel Insignia – Outstanding in each segment

Elsewhere, the most recent reductions in CO2 emissions are further proof of Opel’s commitment to bringing new generation, efficient diesel engines to their customers. These weeks, Opel simultaneously introduces the reworked 94 and 99 gram Astra 1.6 CDTI models in the compact segment, a new 70 kW/95 hp Corsa model that only emits 82 grams of CO2 in the small car segment, and a new 125 kW/170 hp 2.0 CDTI engine in the  midsize Insignia.

Frugal flagship: The four-door Opel Insignia only needs 4.3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle, which is equivalent to 114 grams of CO2 per kilometer. 

Frugal and powerful: The new 125 kW/170 hp 2.0 CDTI engine with 400 Nm of torque impresses with a low level of consumption and a significant reduction of emission while delivering more than enough power. 

The new 125 kW/170 hp and 400 Nm Insignia 2.0 CDTI also impresses with low consumption and a considerable reduction of emissions while delivering an impressive punch, more than enough torque and outstanding refinement. The new powerhouse boasts around four percent more power and 14 percent more torque. The Insignia with the new engine reaches a maximum speed of 225 km/h – an increase of 5 km/h. The sedan accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.0 seconds – almost half a second quicker than its predecessor. The four-door model only needs between 4.3 and 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers in the combined cycle, which is equivalent to only 114 g/km of CO2.

Eco-champion: The new three-door Opel Corsa ecoFlex 1.3 CDTI 70 kW/95 hp  with Start/Stop technology fitted as standard, braking energy recuperation and low-rolling-resistance tires in combination with the new Easytronic 3.0 transmission can reduce CO2 emissions to 82 grams per kilometer. 
The three-door Corsa 1.3 CDTI 70 kW/95 hp ecoFlex with Start/Stop technology fitted as standard, braking energy recuperation and low-rolling-resistance tires is the true eco-champion. Equipped with the new Easytronic 3.0 transmission it can reduce CO2 emissions to 82 grams per kilometer. Fuel consumption is down to exemplary 3.1 liters per 100 kilometers for the combined cycle making the new Corsa the most economical Opel presently on the market and the most economical diesel available.

Frugal: Opel ECOTEC 1.3 CDTI four-cylinder with 70 kW/95 hp and maximum torque of 190 Nm at 1,750 – 3,500 rpm.

!NEW! Opel Triumphant at Start of European Rallye Championship

  • Swede Emil Bergkvist wins Rallye Liepāja in Opel ADAM R2 
  • Sensational performance under adverse conditions and against toughest competition
  • Marijan Griebel leaves race in second Opel ADAM R2 after accident
Difficult circumstances: Snow, rain, fog, soaked gravel, wet snow and ice – Emil Bergkvist mastered the wintery conditions in his Opel ADAM R2.
Sensational start to the season for the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team! In their first run as Opel works drivers, Emil Bergkvist (20, Torsåker) and co-driver Joakim Sjöberg (29, Ösmo) won the first race of the FIA ERC Junior, the Rallye Liepāja in Latvia, in the Opel ADAM R2. After eleven extremely demanding rounds, the two Swedes won a good half-minute ahead of Norwegian Steve Rokland and Latvian Ralfs Sirmacis (both Peugeot 208 R2), thereby taking over the lead in the overall ratings of the FIA ERC Junior. In addition, in their front-wheel drive vehicle with “only” 190 hp in the midst of considerably more powerful, all-wheel drive competition, last year’s winners of the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup also achieved an impressive sixth place in the overall ratings.

Difficult circumstances: Snow, rain, fog, soaked gravel, wet snow and ice – Emil Bergkvist mastered the wintery conditions in his Opel ADAM R2. 
With three consecutive top round times, Bergkvist/Sjöberg made a clear statement right at the beginning of the first rallye day and laid the groundwork for their triumph, which hardly any of the experts anticipated to this extent. “I am speechless,” exulted Bergkvist. “Of course we knew what a fantastic rallye car the Opel ADAM R2 is, and we went into this race with a lot of confidence in our own abilities. But we also knew how tough the competition would be in the FIA ERC Junior. The driving skill level here is absolutely top. And the external conditions were extremely difficult – snow, rain, fog, soaked gravel, wet snow and ice kept taking turns. So I’m all the happier that Jocke and I brought the car across the finish line without any major mistakes. My thanks to the entire team that worked perfectly both during the rallye and preparations leading up to it. I can hardly wait for the next races in the Opel ADAM R2!”

Victory pose: Emil Bergkvist (right) and his co-pilot Joakim Sjöberg (left) won the first race of the FIA European Junior Rallye Championship in Latvia in their Opel ADAM R2.
Marijan Griebel (25, Hahnweiler) and his co-driver Stefan Clemens (28, Weiskirchen) in the second works ADAM R2 had an unfortunate end to their race in Latvia. The duo had found a good rhythm in the fourth round, driving in ninth place when the sudden end came after night had already fallen over the Latvian Baltic Sea coast. “Small mistake, big consequence,” said Griebel. “As long as the car was precisely on track, grip was good with the spike tires. But just a few centimeters off of the ideal line, traction was completely gone. That’s exactly what happened to us in a fast right curve. We drove too far out and slid into the ditch, which in and of itself wouldn’t have been a problem. Unfortunately we hit a crossroad head-on, the car pitched down and rolled over.”

Disastrous night: Marijan Griebel was forced to abandon the race after suffering an accident in his Opel ADAM R2 when night fell. 
Because the accident site was around one hundred kilometers from Liepāja, it took hours before the damaged ADAM R2 made it back to the service area. There the team led by Technical Director of Opel Motorsport, Dietmar Metrich, decided to forego an attempt to repair the vehicle on site.

The extremely challenging conditions also took their toll on both Opel customer teams during the start of the European Championship. Pole Aleks Zawada and his French co-driver Cathy Derousseaux had just clocked their best time in round six when they slid into a ditch and had to withdraw from the Rallye in the following round. German Julius Tannert and his Luxembourgish co-driver Jennifer Thielen had a stroke of bad luck when they lost a wheel in the second round without the involvement of any external force. In order to complete further test kilometers on gravel and snow, Tannert/Thielen competed again on the second Rallye day and at least reached the finish line in Liepāja.

The next race for the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team is March 6-7 at the ADAC Saarland-Pfalz Rallye. The asphalt race around St. Wendel, which is also where the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup season starts, is to serve as another test for Griebel and Bergkvist for the second ERC Junior race taking place in Ireland on April 2-4

Friday, 6 February 2015

!NEW! GM Holden Appoints Chairman and Managing Director; Announces 24 Major Vehicle Launches By 2020

  • Mark Bernhard returns to Holden
  • Holden to deliver product onslaught

Mark Bernhard will return to Holden as Chairman and Managing Director, General Motors (GM) Executive Vice President and President of GM International, Stefan Jacoby, announced today.

Mr Bernhard began his career in the automotive industry at Holden in 1986, undertaking senior finance roles across GM’s global operations, over the past four decades. He is a former CFO of GM Holden and his current position is Vice President and CFO of Shanghai GM.

Mr Jacoby said that given his background and experience, Mr Bernhard is the right person to lead GM Holden.

“Mark’s knowledge of GM Holden, our region and GM’s global operations will serve him well in his new role,” Mr Jacoby said.

“He will champion the ongoing transition of GM Holden to a National Sales Company and the repositioning of the Holden brand for long-term growth and profitability.”

Mr Bernhard briefly visited Australia today to speak with GM Holden dealers and will take up his new role in the third quarter this year.  He will succeed GM Holden Interim Managing Director and CFO Jeff Rolfs.

“I want to thank Jeff for taking on leadership of GM Holden on an interim basis. Once the transition with Mark is complete, Jeff will continue to play an important role at GM Holden as CFO,” Mr Jacoby said.

Mr Jacoby also announced details of Holden’s major new vehicle launch program, delivering 24 major new vehicle launches and 36 new powertrain combinations over the next five years.

Holden Barina Spark 
“GM is investing significantly to broaden the Holden product portfolio and deliver world-class vehicles,” Mr Jacoby said.

New Opel KARL
“Holden is accessing GM’s global operations to assemble its biggest and best ever product line-up. This new model onslaught will ensure Holden has world-class products in every major segment – a true customer-driven product strategy.  

Holden Captiva 5 SUV
Holden Captiva 7 SUV
“While I can’t reveal all the details, I can say that Holden will debut an all-new Barina Spark in the first quarter of 2016, launch a global Captiva replacement and another all-new, world-class SUV to ensure comprehensive offerings in the crucial SUV market segment.  

New Buick Envision SUV
“Supporting this product onslaught is the bold, new Let’s Go There brand campaign and an ongoing commitment to achieving best-practice customer service.” 

Today’s announcements demonstrate GM’s commitment to Holden and reveal further details about Holden’s long term strategy. In the past 12 months, Holden has also announced: 

Coming to Australia and New Zealand: Holden Astra VXR, Insignia VXR and Cascada convertible

  • Cascada convertible, Astra VXR hatch and Insignia VXR sedan will launch in 2015;
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
  • Holden’s Global Design centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
  • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-generation large car; and
  • Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio.

Mark Bernhard Biography

Mark Bernhard is currently vice president and chief financial officer of Shanghai GM in Shanghai, China, a position he has held since November 2011. He also was a member of the GM-SAIC joint venture’s Executive Committee.

Mark Bernhard
Mark began his GM career with GM Holden in 1986, holding various positions in the Finance function.

He relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, in 1996 as Manager of Budgets and Consolidation for the then GM International Operations. In 1998, Mark was appointed Director of Financial Reporting and Analysis for GM International Operations in Detroit. Two years later, he took on the role of Director of Special Projects at GM Asia Pacific in Singapore, working on the acquisition of Daewoo Motor Company.

In 2002, Mark became Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Shanghai GM. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the GM China Group in 2005. He returned to Australia in 2007 as CFO and Executive Director of Finance for GM Holden, navigating the global financial crisis.

Mark has a Bachelor of Business (accounting) degree from Monash University, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Deakin University. He is an FCPA with CPA Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Mark received the Silver Magnolia Award from the Shanghai Municipal Government, which is given to expatriates for their contribution to the economic development of the city. He also received the 2014 Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance.