General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] global product chief Bob Lutz has ruled out developing a new flagship model for the Opel brand, claiming that there’s little chance a model positioned above the new Insignia sedan would be able to compete with Germany’s well-established premium brands. Speaking with Auto Motor und Sport, Lutz confirmed that plans for a new flagship model have been put on ice and that such a model from Opel would have little chance for success.
The introduction of a new flagship was a key element in GM’s plans to reposition the Opel brand in the premium segment and allow Chevrolet to fill the more affordable segment. Opel boss Hans Demant revealed that a new flagship model managed to make it to the concept stage but reaffirmed Lutz’s comments that the market doesn’t need another Opel model positioned above the Insignia.
Executives at Opel were originally keen to launch a new model in the premium segment. Despite concerns of tougher emissions standards and the failed attempt of VW to penetrate the segment with the Phaeton, Opel was seriously considering the move.
Demant wasn’t willing to give any details about the previous plans but hinted at Cadillac’s CTS as a likely donor, as the quality of the new Caddy is already on par with many of its European rivals. Another avenue would be to call on engineers at Holden to develop the new car. Such a move isn’t without precedent. Holden’s VE Commodore is already scheduled to hit U.S. shores as the Pontiac G8 and its Caprice luxury barge is headed for China as a Buick.
News of an Opel flagship isn't exactly new. the automaker first hinted about such a model back in 2000 when it released the imposing Insignia concept.