Earlier this year, General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] CEO Mary Barra confirmed plans to build an additional model at one of the main plants for the automaker's European division Opel, the Rüsselsheim plant in Germany. The plant already produces Opel’s Insignia range of sedans and wagons, and from next year will also build the Zafira MPV.
Now, Barra has revealed that the additional model to be built in Rüsselsheim will be a new crossover positioned alongside the Insignia at the top of Opel's range. The new crossover is expected to feature styling inspired by Opel’s 2013 Monza concept and may stretch up to 16.4 feet in length.
What isn’t clear is whether the new crossover will be twinned by any model sold in the U.S., as is the case for the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal and the Opel Mokka/Buick Encore. One possibility is the vehicle sharing its underpinnings with the next-generation Buick Enclave, which would tie in with Barra’s previous comments about platform consolidation. GM plans to have just four core platforms by 2025.
The new crossover isn't expected to be revealed until 2017—at the earliest. Before then, Opel will reveal a next-generation Insignia.
“Opel is of high strategic importance for GM,” Barra said at the announcement of the new crossover. “The product offensive with 27 new models and 17 new engines has enjoyed a very successful start.”
The significant investment in new models and engines is GM’s last-ditch attempt to save Opel, which has lost more than $18 billion since 1999. And already many tough decisions have been made, such as the shutting down of plants, the ending of fruitless overseas expansion plans and the adopting of global platforms. GM has even pulled its Chevrolet brand out of Europe to allow Opel to focus on the market.