General Motors Europe will invest a total of €9 billion into Opel through 2012, thus strengthening its core brand. €6.5 billion alone will be spent on the development of new vehicles and propulsion systems. In addition, the company is investing considerably into its German plants, Rüsselsheim, Bochum, Kaiserslautern and Eisenach.

GM Europe will invest €900 million into its new Rüsselsheim plant, which was put into operation in 2002. As of autumn 2008, Rüsselsheim will build a new generation of upper midsize vehicles, starting with the Opel Insignia. Bochum is granted investments worth €650 million to secure the facility’s long-term competitiveness and getting it ready for production of the next-generation Astra.

Hans H. Demant, Managing Director of Adam Opel GmbH, announced a comprehensive product offensive with 17 new passenger cars and 3 light commercial vehicles through 2012. In addition to the Insignia this autumn and the new Astra, it has also been decided that the next-generation Meriva with its rear-hinged doors (FlexDoor system) will go into production.

As with Insignia, the FlexRide mechatronic chassis system of which helps the car adjust to prevailing driving conditions, Opel is focusing on technical innovation in all vehicle segments, for example with Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), new chassis functions for great safety in critical situations and with vehicle concepts that offer a high level of flexibility for different uses. For instance, Opel was the first manufacturer to offer the automatically adjusting lighting system also in smaller vehicle segments, such as Corsa and Meriva. "Opel is making the most state-of-the-art safety technology available to the majority of the market. This is an effective contribution to road safety," Demant said.

In close cooperation with the GM Development Center in Warren, Michigan, U.S.A., the Rüsselsheim engineering teams are working on getting extended-range electric vehicles based on the E-Flex system ready for series production. This system allows a driver to travel 65 kilometers on electric power alone, enough to cover the average distance covered by daily commuters. For longer distances, a combustion engine, that serves merely as a power generator, recharges the electric power unit to achieve the range of usual midsize passenger cars.

About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: