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Opel promises plug-in hybrids and eight new models by 2020

Published on: October 10, 2018
Opel promises plug-in hybrids and eight new models by 2020

What's the news?

Opel has confirmed that it plans to introduce eight new models into its range by 2020, including all-new versions of the Corsa, Mokka X, and the Vivaro van. The Corsa and Vivaro go on sale next year, while the Mokka X comes in 2020, and will be a keystone of Opel's plans to grow its SUV sales from 25 per cent of its volume now, to 40 per cent then.

Electric power plays a key role in this plan too - an all-electric Corsa has already been confirmed, and Opel says that the order books for that car will open late next year. At the same time, Opel's first plug-in hybrid car, a version of the Grandland X, sharing its plug-in hybrid powertrain with the new Peugeot 508 PHEV and Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV, will also go on sale. Those are the first steps in a plan which will see all Opel models have an electric or plug-in variant by 2024 - the brand says it wants to "democratise electro-mobility while further improving its combustion engines."

"In a context of drastic CO2 norms, it's our responsibility to shape a sustainable future for our company and our dealers with a highly competitive portfolio for passenger and light commercial vehicles. Opel will offer fun to drive and emotionally designed models including highly competitive light commercial vehicles such as the new Combo and Vivaro. The customers will benefit from the broad introduction of innovative technologies and affordable electrification," said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. "The most recent awards - like the IVOTY 2019 for our Combo Cargo - demonstrate that we are on the right path."

There are few plans that have no casualties, and this new model surge means that there's no longer a place at Opel for the Adam and Karl small cars. Both are based on General Motors legacy platforms (the Adam's 1.4-litre 100hp petrol engine dates back to a 1982 design) so both are now surplus to Opel's requirements under its new French owners. The will stay on sale until the end of 2019, but there won't be direct or immediate replacements for either.

Actually, the death of the Adam in particular shows what a change of emphasis there has been at Opel since PSA Group bought it from General Motors. The Adam had been planned as the first plank in a strategy that would see Opel move more upmarket, and the car was originally conceived as a Mini competitor. Now though, Opel says that it's sticking firmly to its mainstream, family-car, roots, saying that it's "investing primarily in high-volume and profitable segments. By then, Opel will be offering one of the newest portfolios of all volume manufacturers."

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