2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
Opel wants to start production in Russia in a few months. The responsible managers consider the market there to be particularly promising.
Car manufacturer Opel plans to produce in Russia soon. "Full production could begin in one to one and a half years," announced the European boss of the Opel parent company General Motors (GM), Carl-Peter Forster, at the IAA auto show in Frankfurt. Locations could be existing GM plants in St. Petersburg or Kaliningrad. The Opel brand has good prospects in the growth market of Russia, and the margins there are better than in Western Europe. For Opel plants and jobs in Germany, the engagement in Russia does not mean any danger: "We are struggling to meet demand locally - and exporting from Russia to Western Europe is not worthwhile."
Looking for new sales markets
In view of the flagging automobile market in Germany, Opel is looking for new sales markets. From autumn onwards, the Astra compact car will be exported to the USA under the sister brand Saturn. Russia is considered to have a particularly promising future: "Opel is of very good repute there and is considered a premium brand," said former Opel boss Forster. The brand with the lightning bolt will sell 70,000 vehicles there this year and 90,000 next year. Vehicles from GM's small car brand Chevrolet are particularly in demand in Russia.
While Opel has lost ground on the German market since the beginning of the year and sales have shrunk by 13 percent to 9 percent market share, the Rüsselsheim-based carmaker has grown in Europe. Opel sold 1.097 million cars in the first eight months, 3.4 percent more than in the previous year, and in August alone the increase was almost 16 percent, GM Europe announced.
Agila remains the smallest model
At the IAA, Opel is showing the Agila minivan as a world premiere. The second generation will be available on the German market from April 2008 at a starting price of less than 10,000 euros, the company announced. Forster named 60,000 to 70,000 vehicles per year in Europe as a sales target. "There is no reason to put another city car under the Agila", Forster replied to the works council's demands to build a city car. Years ago, Opel showed a “Trixx” city car study, but it was never realized.
The sales target for the small car Corsa is 450,000 cars annually. Opel will return to the luxury class, according to Forster. (dpa)
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