General Motors’ European arm will be dropping its unsuccessful Signum hatchback by the middle of next year due to lackluster sales and the need for extra capacity at its Ruesselsheim plant in Germany. According to Auto Motor und Sport, Opel managed to shift only 8,040 units in the past 12 months and is no where near its profit projections for the model. Execs are also considering dropping the Opel Tigra Twin Top, which has also been losing sales.

Production of the next generation Vectra sedan is already earmarked for the German plant, and we may also see several Saab models produced there as well as US spec Saturn Auras. Current production of the Signum needs to be halted to accommodate the retooling of the plant for the next Vectra, which is expected to enter production by the second half of next year.

The following years will be very busy for GM’s European divisions, with up to eight new models planned for introduction between now and 2011. These include two new sedans from Opel as well as three new models from Saab (9-3, 9-5 and 9-3 Cabrio) plus the next-gen Saturn Aura. There’s also talk of a new coupe model due in 2009 and based on the next Vectra, which could pose as a new flagship for Opel.