Opel CEO Nick Reilly today announced an ambitious five-year, $15 billion plan for the future that will reinvigorate 80 percent of the automaker's model lines and place a strong emphasis on alternative propulsions. Coinciding with today's announcement, Opel has also formally applied for loans or loan guarantees from the German government.
The new plan includes eight major launches in 2010 alone--such as the Meriva, Corsa, Movano and Astra Sports Tourer--and another four in 2011, most notably the Ampera plug-in hybrid (pictured). The overall goal is to have more than 80 percent of Opel's model lines less than three years old by 2012.
In terms of green technology, Opel will be investing $1.4 billion to help with the launch of the Ampera, introduce all-electric vehicles, offer more models with engine stop-start technology, introduce downsized engines, and expand LPG and CNG applications.
Reilly's plan also confirmed that Opel will launch a new minicar model and start to investigate the potential of exports to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.
Of course, it's not all good news. The plan calls for a major restructuring of Opel's operations that will see a 20 percent reduction in capacity. This will consist of a job level reduction of approximately 8,300 workers. That reduction will be spread out across most of Europe and includes 1,300 employees in sales and administration and 7,000 jobs in manufacturing. Sadly, it also means Opel will be closing its production facilities in Antwerp, Belgium.
If all goes to plan Opel will break even by 2011 and be profitable by 2012. On a side note, Reilly has reaffirmed General Motors' commitment to Opel with confirmation that the American auto giant will be providing its European subsidiary with almost $1 billion in funding.