GM to position Opel (Vauxhall) upmarket

GM to position Opel (Vauxhall) upmarket

GM's plans to invest $14 billion in Opel by the end of 2012 were announced just last week, as well as their plans to introduce 20 new models for Opel in this time period. But some more details have come out about the investment, most notably the General's plans to market Opel as a more 'upmarket' brand and to differentiate it from its entry-level Chevrolet brand.

GM plans to reposition the Opel brand in Europe by emphasizing Opel's design and engineering prowess based on its German heritage, but marketing isn't the only strategy being undertaken to achieve this. Product development and pricing will also be used to affirm Opel's slightly more upmarket status, and the shift in brand direction will raise the prices for Opel cars - not to the level of other German marques, such as Mercedes and BMW - but by around 1-3%.

New models being developed for Opel also include several hybrid options and the massive investment from GM into the German brand should see its dwindling sales pick up eventually. GM has assured it is not trying to reinvent the brand, but rather re-emphasize certain aspects of the manufacturer's heritage and capabilities, according to Automotive News.

Opel will also release two electric vehicles using GM's E-Flex architecture, which should also help sales pick up from their current decline.

2009 Opel Insignia hatchback spy shots

Opel Insignia Coupe and Estate renderings

2009 Opel Insignia sedan