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    William Maley

    Unclear as to what will happen with the Buick Cascada

    Opel is undergoing a major product overhaul as it begins to transition over from General Motors architectures to PSA Group. Some products will not make the change, however.
    Yesterday, Opel announced that the Adam city car, Cascada convertible, and the KARL city car will end production at the end of 2019. The company blames new emission rules for the canceling of these models, but some suspect the low-margin on these vehicles is what ultimately led to their demise.
    "In order to contribute to the CO2 compliance and to focus on high volume segments, the Opel ADAM, KARL and Cascada will not be replaced after the end of their life cycles, but will remain on sale until the end of 2019," the company said in a statement.
    This announcement has some wondering about the future of Buick's Cascada. A spokesman for the brand told Automotive News that Buick "not confirming anything at this point" regarding the brand's plans for the Cascada. Although, AN's Future Product Pipeline reports that the Buick version could be discontinued sooner than later.
    On the flipside, Opel will be launching eight all-new or refreshed vehicles beginning early next year. This will include a new Corsa subcompact and replacement for the Mokka X (what we know as the Buick Encore).
    Source: Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Opel


    Opel to Launch Eight All-New or Refreshed Models by 2020
    Stronger customer orientation and dealer performance Focus on high volume and high growth segments with three key launches by 2020: all-new Corsa, Vivaro and Mokka X successor Ensure CO2 compliance with state-of-the-art technology: four electrified vehicles by end of 2020; 100 percent electrification by 2024; further improved combustion engines Rüsselsheim.  Opel is continuing to execute the PACE! plan product offensive to meet customer needs and ensure compliance with the drastic Europe-wide CO2 guidelines which become effective in 2020. The future portfolio will ensure a sustainable, successful future for both the company and its dealer network. From early 2019 to the end of 2020, the company will launch eight all-new or refreshed models, investing primarily in high-volume and profitable segments. By then, Opel will be offering one of the newest portfolios of all volume manufacturers.
    With its PACE! plan, Opel has clearly committed to bringing at least one all-new model onto the market every year. In 2019 alone, Opel will launch the new generation of the bestselling Corsa and the successor to the successful Vivaro as LCV and passenger car variants. Additional variants and equipment versions of the Combo will also be on sale, thus significantly renewing the LCV portfolio. The successor to the hugely popular Opel Mokka X will follow in 2020 and will play a pivotal role for the strategy to expand the proportion of the company’s SUV sales from 25 to 40 percent by 2021.
    “Opel goes electric” was one of the commitments made by the company in November 2017 as part of its PACE! plan. Order books for both the all-electric new five-seater Corsa and the Grandland X PHEV which will be produced in Eisenach will be open by the summer of 2019. By the end of 2020, Opel will have a total of four electrified models on offer, providing a lot of driving pleasure and transforming e-car demand from niche to volume. By 2024, there will be an electrified version of every Opel model. Opel will make highly interesting offers, both technically and economically, and will democratise electro-mobility while further improving its combustion engines.
    In order to contribute to the CO2 compliance and to focus on high volume segments, the Opel ADAM, KARL and Cascada will not be replaced after the end of their life cycles, but will remain on sale until the end of 2019. With the new portfolio, Opel will continue to cover around 80 percent of the mainstream market volume in 2020 – with significantly higher efficiency and customer-orientation while simultaneously reducing complexity.
    “In a context of drastic CO2 norms, it’s our responsibility to shape a sustainable future for our company and our dealers with a highly competitive portfolio for passenger and light commercial vehicles. Opel will offer fun to drive and emotionally designed models including highly competitive light commercial vehicles such as the new Combo and Vivaro. The customers will benefit from the broad introduction of innovative technologies and affordable electrification,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. “The most recent awards – like the IVOTY 2019 for our Combo – demonstrate that we are on the right path.”
    The German manufacturer with almost 120 years of automotive tradition is leveraging Groupe PSA platforms and innovative propulsion technologies for all new models. Opel has impressively demonstrated its efficiency this year: the entire portfolio was and is fully available from dealers in time for the transition to the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure standard (WLTP). Moreover, Opel is already fully ready for the new Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard and offers 127 passenger car models that meet the requirements which will come into effect for all new registrations in September 2019. “Our commitment to Euro 6d-TEMP is part of our strategy to become a leader in the reduction of vehicle emissions and a key pillar of our customer-centric approach. Whoever buys a new Opel now must not fear a city driving ban from today’s perspective,” said Lohscheller.

    William Maley

    What does the future hold for Opel and Vauxhall? A new concept gives a possible clue.

    Opel has unveiled their first concept car since coming under the ownership of PSA Group. Called the GT X Experimental, the concept gives us an idea of what direction Opel/Vauxhall's styling will take.
    The compact crossover shares an obvious similarity to a previous Opel concept, the GT Coupe in terms of overall shape and the colorful line running the length of the roof.
    A key trait to the concept's design is the "Vizor" up front. Resembling the visor on a motorcycle helmet, the area houses the headlights, running lights, and the various hardware needed for the driver assistance features. A large windshield extends all the way to the second-row to provide an open-air feeling. The concept features a set of suicide doors to provide an unobstructed view through the cabin. The dash is very minimalistic with a massive screen and a simple-looking steering wheel.
    The GT X Experimental uses an electric powertrain. No power figures or range were given, but Opel did say the concept has a 50-kWh battery and can be charged wirelessly. The concept also features Level 3 Autonomous capability where it can handle all aspects of driving, but the driver needs to ready to intervene at a moment's notice.
    “The Opel GT X Experimental embodies the spirit of our core brand values – German, approachable, exciting. It’s an “approachable” concept that people can identify with. It confidently combines a pure and bold design execution with progressive technology that makes life easier. Clearly, this vehicle signals a very exciting future for the brand,” said Mark Adams, Opel's Vice President of Design.
    Source: Opel


    Opel GT X Experimental: Bold Vision of Opel’s Future
    The next PACE! milestone: Brand Concept vehicle previews future of Opel models Expressing Opel values: German, approachable, exciting Opel Vizor: Hallmark design for the new face of all future models Visual and digital detox: “Pure Panel” redefines interior design Electric Power: GT X Experimental stands for electrification of all Opel models by 2024 Opel concept vehicles: Designing the future for over 50 years Rüsselsheim.  Opel is giving a preview of the exciting future of the brand with a new Brand Concept. Its name: the Opel GT X Experimental – a bold, 4.06-metre, 5-door, all-electric compact SUV with coupé appeal and brimming with innovative ideas. The GT X Experimental embodies Opel’s values and vision along with providing a glimpse of what the future holds for Opel models. The company had already announced that it would further sharpen its profile during the presentation of the strategic PACE! plan last November. The GT X Experimental is the first tangible result of this process.
    “With our PACE! plan, we have a very clear vision of how we want to create a successful future for Opel. Focus on a strong brand identity defined by our values – German, approachable, exciting – plays an integral role in our return to sustainable success. Our Brand Concept shows how these values will come to life in our products in the future. Our engineering and design teams have put this into effect brilliantly in the Opel GT X Experimental. It gives a clear idea of how we at Opel see the mobility of the future,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller.
    Passion for democratising technical innovations fuels Opel’s pioneering spirit
    During the concept phase, Opel started a wide-ranging and intense process of reflection about itself and its values. Opel can look back on 156 years of industrial existence starting with precision mechanics and almost 120 years of automobile engineering fuelled by the constant commitment to make exciting and relevant innovative technologies accessible to all. Throughout its history, the specific “Opel way” can be summarised with these three values: German, approachable and exciting. As for its future, the brand wants to remain anchored in the most modern and positive expression of its German roots: Opel’s “New Germanness” takes the best of Germany’s traditional values – engineering excellence, a genuine fascination for well-executed machines, an intense focus on functionality, quality and reliability – and enriches them with warmth and open-mindedness. Inspired by Opel’s innovative spirit, the new GT X Experimental captures the essence of the company’s rich heritage and promises an exciting future. It blends German engineering, precision and quality with visionary innovations to give a preview of what Opel cars will be in the mid-2020s: bold, pure in appearance yet extremely approachable and customer-centric.
    Opel decided to embody its vision for its future automobiles in a compact SUV of just 4,063 millimetres in length (wheelbase: 2,625 mm; width: 1,830 mm; height including antenna: 1,528 mm): SUVs are currently the most popular vehicles on the market and Opel is driven by the desire to make such even more attractive for a wide public. But to do so, SUVs must also become more efficient than ever before. This is why the Opel GT X Experimental is built on a lightweight architecture, has a reduced footprint and drives on 17-inch wheels that visually look much larger, so as to maximise road comfort but also look stunning. True to the PACE! plan promise of offering an electrified version of each Opel model by 2024, the GT X Experimental is a fully electric car with power delivered by a 50 kWh, compact next-generation lithium-ion battery with inductive charging. The GT X Experimental does not pretend to offer full autonomous driving. However, it does have Level 3 autonomous driving functions – meaning it can handle all aspects of driving but the driver must be able to respond to a request to intervene.
    Pure and bold: This is future Opel design
    The GT X Experimental presents innovative technology with sophisticated simplicity. Vice President Design Mark Adams and his team have developed a whole philosophy for Opel’s specific, German design, blending purity with emotional boldness. In the GT X Experimental, each usual function, each module of an automobile has been questioned with the aim of achieving purity of design by removing all unnecessary design elements. This is something the design team calls “visual detox”.
    The Opel GT X Experimental body shows bold proportions coupled with beautifully structured, pure flowing surfaces. Its strong silhouette is accentuated by the bold graphic identity separating the upper and lower areas. The lower section is painted in a luminous light grey, and the whole upper part including the bonnet, glass and roof are in an almost black, night blue. Between these is a bold Opel yellow signature accent that flows through the car to give it structure and dynamism. This colour scheme re-visits Opel’s traditional grey/black/yellow colour but reconfigures it to create a fresh modern feel. The GT X Experimental welcomes passengers with spacious, unobstructed access thanks to rear-hinged rear doors and all four doors opening wide to 90 degrees to give the concept an approachable character. The sweeping panoramic windscreen/roof reaches far back to the rear seats, enhancing the SUV’s light and open sense of spaciousness.
    Opel designers have also reduced the traditional, so-called “cut lines” in the bodywork – made necessary by the different openings such as doors and bonnet – to an absolute minimum. The upper cutline of all doors is hidden in the yellow accent and the one of the rear doors coincides with the opening of the boot. Forgoing conventional elements such as door handles and exterior mirrors, the body is a smooth canvas that wraps around surprising details such as small cameras embedded in the yellow graphic lining the sides of the bonnet pop out, replacing the exterior mirrors.
    To counterbalance this visual detox, rare graphical details energise the appearance of the GT X Experimental. Cropped triangles are engraved along the sill under the driver’s side rear door: one of them contains a small, hexagonal LED screen that shows the electric charge level of the battery. The 17-inch wheels look much bigger thanks to robust rubber covers that flow over the rim to visually enlarge the size of the dark blue tyres. Yellow graphic lines on the rim echo the yellow signature accent of the body and surround the electronic Blitz emblem that stands still as the wheels rotate. And to underline the SUV character of the car, protective cladding wraps around the lower body, giving the GT X Experimental’s solid, robust stance a rugged look.
    “The Opel GT X Experimental embodies the spirit of our core brand values – German, approachable, exciting. It’s an “approachable” concept that people can identify with. It confidently combines a pure and bold design execution with progressive technology that makes life easier. Clearly, this vehicle signals a very exciting future for the brand,” said Mark Adams.
    Opel Compass and Opel Vizor give new visual identity to future Opel models
    The GT X Experimental also reveals the new theme for the front and the rear fascia of future models for the first time. The “Opel Compass” organises the design elements along two strong axes that intersect the Blitz. The legendary brand emblem is now the focus point more than ever before. In a crisper and purer execution, the centre-crease line on the bonnet represents the vertical axis, which is prolonged under the Blitz. The horizontal axis is symbolised by the Opel-typical wing-shaped daytime running light signature, which will continue to feature on all future Opel vehicles. The rear echoes the front fascia and shows the Opel Compass in its purity, with the Blitz solidly anchoring the horizontal line of the wing-shaped rear lights and the vertical line from the roof fin antenna to the accentuated crease in the bumper.
    Following the theme of the Opel Compass and in line with the approach of creating the purest possible design, Opel designers have also created a new Opel face that expresses the company’s pioneering spirit: the “Opel Vizor”. The Opel Vizor is a full, single module that frames all of the high-tech and brand elements such as the LED Blitz emblem that shows the car’s operation state by lighting up in different colours, the LED matrix headlights, the wing-shaped daytime running lights as well as all cameras and sensors of the assistance systems and autonomous driving functions under darkly tinted Plexiglas. The elegant module boldly stretches across the front of the car right under the bonnet. The new, distinctive Opel Vizor is set to be a hallmark design element for all Opel models later in the 2020s.
    Interior around Pure Panel: Visual and digital detox for a relaxing oasis
    The airy interior of the Opel GT X Experimental follows the same principles and opts for visual and digital detox. Surrounded by the panoramic windscreen/roof and uninterrupted side-window, the cabin’s sleekness masks the innovations it holds in store. The interior’s standout feature is the instrument panel encased in a module that mimics the Opel Vizor – the Opel “Pure Panel”. One wide, single screen welcomes drivers and shows that the multitude of screens, buttons and controls often seen in current-day production vehicles could become obsolete. The Pure Panel enables drivers to have access to the latest technology and get the information they need while eliminating all visually distracting elements. The purity of the interior design can also be seen in the clever positioning of the air vents. They have been hidden behind the screens, allowing all-round pure, clean surfaces. The Pure Panel also shows how Opel allows technology to simplify customers’ lives. Two screens on the far left and right of the front panel display the side views captured by the small pop-out cameras. Elsewhere, the design of the steering wheel has been simplified while its centre module repeats the shape of the Opel Vizor. And, like its counterparts on the wheels, the LED Opel Blitz on its centre remains upright whatever the steering position.
    This clean high-tech approach flows throughout the interior. For example, the four seats look like they are floating while removable speakers nestled under the headrests also allow an out-of-car sound experience. Graphic details also highlight the strict purity of the design in the interior: the cropped triangle theme is repeated on the seat backs and the accelerator and brake pedals.

    William Maley

    Can PACE give Opel and Vauxhall a shot in the arm?

    Ever since PSA Group took ownership of Opel and Vauxhall back in spring, many were wondering what the French automaker had in store. Today at a press conference at Opel's headquarters, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller unveiled the turnaround called PACE.
    Here is a summary of PACE,
    Return Opel and Vauxhall to profit by 2020 Lowering costs on each car built by €700 (about $813) Committed to keeping Vauxhall as a brand for Great Britain Entering 20 new markets by 2022, with Brazil and China topping the list Accelerating the transition from General Motors to PSA Group platforms (originally was planned to finish by 2027, now plan to finish by 2024). This will reduce the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall use from nine to two. Powertrain families will also decrease from ten to four Nine new models by 2020. This begins with a new Combo van next year and Corsa subcompact in 2019 Launching four electrified models by 2020, with an electrified option being available for each model by 2024 According to Lohscheller, the existing product strategy would not meet the upcoming CO2 targets coming into effect. Thus the decision was made to move up plans for electrification Opel's technical center in Ruesselsheim will engineer all-new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles to have them stand out from their Citroen/DS/Peugeot brethren Ruesselheim will also become a global competence center for PSA, building up expertise in various areas such as autonomous driving and fuel cells Pledging to avoid closing down factories or forced layoffs "The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes,” the company said in a statement. “PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Lohscheller in a statement.
    But will it be enough? As Reuters noted, shares in PSA Group dropped 2.2 percent to €19.68 (about $22.65) after Carlos Tavares said Opel's financial health has been getting worse as PACE! was being drawn up.
    “The situation gets worse by the day,” Travares said, without going into detail.
    Source: Autocar, Car, Reuters, Opel
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Opel/Vauxhall Go Profitable, Electric and Global with PACE!
    Return to profitability by 2020: 2% automotive recurring operating margin, positive operational free cash flow[1] Lower financial break-even point to 800,000 vehicles Electrification and CO2 leadership: All passenger carlines to be electrified by 2024 Improve efficiency towards benchmark levels for manufacturing and logistics cost as well as for wage cost/revenue-ratio Intention to maintain and modernise all plants and to refrain from forced redundancies R&D centre in Rüsselsheim to become a global competence centre for Groupe PSA Enlarge commercial scope: Leverage Opel brand for overseas export opportunities and foster growth of Opel/Vauxhall LCV business PACE! execution to immediately unleash Opel/Vauxhall performance and pave the way to a sustainable future Rüsselsheim.  Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel Automobile GmbH, today announced the strategic plan PACE! to restore financial fundamentals and enhance sustainable competitiveness and growth. All PACE! initiatives will contribute to the goals of generating a positive operational free cash flow as well as a recurring operating margin for the auto division of 2% in a first phase by 2020 and of 6% by 2026. Combining strengths will unleash annual synergies on Groupe PSA level of €1.1 billion by 2020 and €1.7 billion by 2026. All actions will contribute to a lower financial break-even point for Opel/Vauxhall of 800,000 vehicles, creating a profitable business model whatever the headwinds may be.
    Having full access to Groupe PSA technologies, Opel/Vauxhall will become a European CO2 leader. By 2024, all European passenger carlines will be electrified – offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside efficient internal combustion engines. By 2020, Opel/Vauxhall will have four electrified carlines on the market, including the Grandland X PHEV and the next generation Corsa as a fully electric vehicle.
    The company will enhance its competitiveness by 2020 e.g. by reducing costs by €700 per car. Efficiency of marketing expenses will be improved by more than 10%. Overall efficiencies will be increased by reducing complexity across all functions with a ratio G&A/revenue moving from 5.6% to 4.7% and an objective to bring the company towards industry benchmark in terms of wage cost/revenue ratio. Optimising R&D and CapEx at 7-8% of automotive revenue, manufacturing and administration processes by 2020 and releasing working capital of €1.2 billion by 2022 will also contribute to seizing synergies.
    Improved competitiveness of the manufacturing plants will lead to new vehicle allocations that will provide a better utilisation rate for the next decade. The two Groupe PSA platforms CMP and EMP2 will be localised in all Opel/Vauxhall plants. To start with, an EMP2-based SUV is planned for Eisenach in 2019; and an EMP2-based D-segment vehicle is coming to Rüsselsheim. The allocation of new powertrains in Opel/Vauxhall manufacturing sites will accompany the shift from GM to Groupe PSA engines and transmissions.
    “PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller.
    The plan is designed with the clear intention to maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe. The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes.
    All new Opel/Vauxhall vehicles will be engineered in Rüsselsheim, which will be transformed into a global competence centre for the whole Groupe PSA. First areas of expertise are identified, e.g. fuel cells, certain automated driving technologies and driver assistance developments. This will further guarantee German engineering quality and affordable innovations. Altogether, the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall uses for its passenger cars will be reduced from currently 9 to 2 by 2024. Furthermore, the powertrain families will be optimised from currently 10 to 4. “Aligning architecture and powertrain families will substantially reduce development and production complexity, thus allowing scale effects and synergies, contributing to overall profitability,” said Lohscheller.
    Opel/Vauxhall will switch to efficient and flexible Groupe PSA vehicle architectures faster than originally expected. From 2024 onwards, all Opel/Vauxhall passenger car models will be based on joint Groupe PSA architectures. Next to come are the Combo in 2018 and the next generation of the bestselling Corsa in 2019. This course will be steadily continued with one major launch per year. Counting every body style, Opel/Vauxhall will launch 9 new models by 2020. This line-up will enable to increase the pricing power of Opel/Vauxhall brands and reduce the gap against benchmark by four points.
    Sales growth of the further profiled and strengthened Opel/Vauxhall brands will be supported by initiatives like the start of even more attractive financial offerings as well as full service leasing offers via the Financial Services of Opel and Vauxhall.
    Furthermore, Opel will enter more than 20 new export markets by 2022. Beyond that, Opel will explore global midterm overseas profitable export opportunities.
    To foster growth in the financially attractive light commercial vehicle (LCV) business, Opel/Vauxhall will launch new models and enter new markets with the clear goal to increase its LCV sales by 25% by 2020 against 2017.
    “PACE! has been designed by Opel/Vauxhall for the benefit of our employees as an immediate performance booster,” said Lohscheller.

    William Maley

    What to expect from Opel's upcoming press conference

    On Thursday, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller will be presenting a new restructuring plan for its future under the PSA Group umbrella. Thanks a report from German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, we have some idea of what this plan entails.
    According to the paper, Opel will be cutting down on the models it offers and begin to focus on high-margin segments. The brand will also be tasked with developing technology for partial and complete electrification of all PSA Group models. To pull this off, Opel’s Rüsselsheim tech center will become the central point for the development of this tech.
    Other parts of the plan outlined in Frankfurter Allgemeine's report include,
    Combining the purchasing activities of the two companies Launching Opel into new markets (this was considered to be too taboo for GM) Cut labor costs Reduce the amount of discounting for new vehicles Future models to use platforms, engines, and transmissions from PSA Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    It appears one of Opel/Vauxhall's planned vehicles has been put on hold

    Opel and Vauxhall are currently in the process of working on a new business plan for their new owner, PSA Group. Already, it seems one project has been suspended. 
    Auto Express has learned from sources that plans for a flagship SUV have been shelved for the time being. Possibly named Monza, the model would use the Insignia platform and be around the size of a Ford Edge. It seems PSA Group is putting a freeze on various projects that are related in some form to Opel/Vauxhall's former owner, General Motors. Whether or not the Monza is canned or moved to a platform from PSA Group remains to be seen. One thing is clear, changes are already happening.
    Source: Auto Express

    William Maley

    And that's a wrap

    General Motors and PSA Group completed the sale of Opel/Vauxhall yesterday, effectively ending the era of GM’s European division.
     “It is a historic day. We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020,” said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. 
    As part of the sale, PSA Group paid 1.53 billion for the Opel and Vauxhall brands and $1.06 billion for the European arm of GM Financial. GM is still on the hook for existing pension obligations for Opel - estimated to be around $3.54 billion.
    The final part of the sale also marks some key changes of Opel and Vauxhall's leadership. Four new people -  Christian Müller, Rémi Girardon, Philippe de Rovira, and Michelle Wen - will be joining the company's management.
    What happens next? The new management team will begin working on a new plan for the future of the two brands. The ultimate goal is to have Opel and Vauxhall return to profitability by 2020.
    Source: Reuters, Opel
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Birth of a European Champion: Opel and Vauxhall join Groupe PSA
    Opel and Vauxhall to be operated as true iconic German and British brands New performance plan to be presented in 100 days: to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026 Four new team members to join the leadership team Rüsselsheim.  The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA has been finalized now. “It is a historic day,” said Opel Automobile GmbH CEO Michael Lohscheller. “We are proud to join Groupe PSA and are now opening a new chapter in our history after 88 years with General Motors. We will continue our path of making technology `made in Germany´ available to everyone. The combination of our strengths will enable us to turn Opel and Vauxhall into a profitable and self-funded business. We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020.”
    “We are witnessing the birth of a true European champion today,” emphasized PSA Chairman of the board Carlos Tavares. “We will assist Opel and Vauxhall’s return to profitability and aim to set new industry benchmarks together. We will unleash the power of these iconic brands and the huge potential of its existing talents. Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British. They are the perfect fit to our existing portfolio of French brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS Automobiles.” The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17 percent in Europe, making it the continent’s second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets.
    As already assured when the contract was signed in March, all employee codetermination rights will remain unchanged.
    The Opel/Vauxhall management team will work on a plan for the future in the next 100 days. “We are eager to build the plan with PSA’s support and obviously together with our partners from the Works Council and the unions,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. Synergies within the Groupe PSA, for example in purchasing and development, are set to play a major part. The combined entity will unlock substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D estimated at €1.7 Bn at run rate. The goal is to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and six percent by 2026.
    Today’s start of a new era is accompanied by some important leadership changes. “I am happy to announce that four new members will join my management team,” said CEO Lohscheller:
    Christian Müller, previously Vice President Global Propulsion Systems – Europe and with Opel since 1996, will succeed William F. Bertagni as Vice President Engineering. He will integrate engineering and powertrain in one department. Rémi Girardon, previously Senior Vice President Group Industrial Strategy at Groupe PSA, will succeed Philip R. Kienle as Vice President Manufacturing. Philippe de Rovira, previously Group Controller at Groupe PSA, will become the new CFO of Opel, following Michael Lohscheller. Michelle Wen, Group Supply Chain Management Network Director at Vodafone Procurement, will be joining the Opel leadership team effective September 1 replacing Katherine Worthen currently Vice President Purchasing and Supply Chain. All other moves are with immediate effect. “We thank Katherine Worthen, William F. Bertagni and Philip Kienle for all their contributions to Opel/Vauxhall and wish them all the best for the next chapter of their careers within General Motors,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller. “And we cordially welcome Michelle Wen from Vodafone as well as Remi Girardon and Philippe de Rovira from Groupe PSA. I am looking forward to working with these new team members who will reinforce the potential of our leadership team.”
    Going forward, Michael Lohscheller is planning with a much leaner management structure, including the number of direct reports. “We are reducing complexity and increasing speed,” said Lohscheller. “I am looking forward to shaping the next chapter of Opel/Vauxhall with the new management team and leading our company into a successful future. The owners and the employees will not be the only ones to benefit from ever stronger Opel and Vauxhall brands – our customers will do so too.”
    PSA and Opel/Vauxhall have been working together since 2012. The cooperation so far includes four vehicles from Opel. The first model, the Opel Crossland X, has been available at dealerships since the end of June. The Opel Grandland X SUV in the next higher segment follows in the fall. The successor of the Opel Combo light commercial vehicle will come onto the market next year and as of 2019 the next generation of the best-selling Opel Corsa will be launched.
    Opel/Vauxhall and Groupe PSA will continue to work with General Motors in the future. In addition to development in the area of electric propulsion, Opel plants will continue to produce vehicles for the GM brands Buick and Holden.
    In parallel, the acquisition of GM Financial's European operations is under way, subject to validation by the different regulatory authorities’ review and is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

    William Maley

    Opel's current CEO steps down

    Today, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann has announced that he will be stepping down as Opel CEO, confirming various reports that came out over the weekend. His replacement is Opel's current chief financial officer, Michael Lohscheller effective immediately. 
    "It was a difficult personal decision to not continue with the Opel/Vauxhall team when it transitions to Groupe PSA. I am proud of the team for all we have accomplished so far and have no doubt that the move to PSA will make Opel/Vauxhall an even stronger and more successful company in the future. I am committed to completing this transaction and will then take some time to decide what is next for me,” Neumann said in a statement released today.
    Neumann will stay on Opel's management board until the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Groupe is completed.
    Reports of Neumann's department popped up on Saturday by German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Their report said a key reason for his departure was concerns about PSA Group not fully valuing the importance of electric vehicles. It should be noted the paper did not cite a source for this claim. As we reported back in February, Neumann was working on a secret plan on transitioning the brand to selling only electric vehicles.
    Then on Sunday, Reuters learned from a source that Volkswagen was considering re-hiring Neumann - possibly as CEO for Audi. Before joining GM, Neumann was in charge of Volkswagen's operations in China.
    Current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler is under fire due to the recent reveal of illegal software installed on certain A7 and A8 TDIs in Europe.
    Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung , Reuters, Opel
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Michael Lohscheller Appointed New CEO of Opel
    Rüsselsheim.  Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann has stepped down as the Speaker of the Management Board and CEO of Adam Opel GmbH today. He remains a member of the Management Board until the closing of the sale of Opel/Vauxhall to Groupe PSA. Michael Lohscheller, Opel CFO since September 2012, has been unanimously appointed as his successor with immediate effect by the Supervisory Board. This will ensure continuity for the business and its stakeholders as well as a seamless managerial transition with the priority task to build the new strategic plan for Opel.
    According to Dr. Neumann, “it was a difficult personal decision to not continue with the Opel/Vauxhall team when it transitions to Groupe PSA. I am proud of the team for all we have accomplished so far and have no doubt that the move to PSA will make Opel/Vauxhall an even stronger and more successful company in the future. I am committed to completing this transaction and will then take some time to decide what is next for me.”
    “We have made tremendous progress in the turnaround of Opel/Vauxhall under Karl-Thomas’ leadership,” said Dan Ammann, Opel Supervisory Board Chairman and President, General Motors. “We thank him for his significant contributions to Opel/Vauxhall and GM over the past four years.”
    Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Adam Opel GmbH and Head of the General Works Council: “The worker representatives within the Supervisory Board respect Dr. Neumann’s decision. He has managed to regain recognition with Opel, an improved brand image and a strengthened self-awareness, coupled with competitive, outstanding models. The decision to appoint the current CFO and member of the management board Michael Lohscheller as the new CEO is explicitly supported by us.”
    Michael Lohscheller said: “I would like to thank the Supervisory Board for the trust. We will stay on the current path and continue to gain strength as part of the Groupe PSA. After the expected closing of the transaction, a new European champion will emerge. I am looking forward to the new task and to working together with the management team to implement a successful future plan for the benefit of all 38,000 Opel/Vauxhall employees and its stakeholders.”

    William Maley

    And the process of selling Opel has hit a roadblock

    If General Motors and PSA Group were hoping to have a smooth sale of Opel, they were dashed this week.
    Both Automobilwoche and German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung report Opel's work council and German labor union IG Metall have some specific demands for workers at Opel's development center in Rüsselsheim. The two parties want a guarantee that 7,700 workers will keep their jobs at the center and that continue performing work for GM until 2020 - which could account for 30 percent of the development center's output. 
    There are also some disagreements on vehicle development. PSA Group wants the next-generation Corsa subcompact to use one their platforms, while Opel wants to keep the current platform and also wants to develop an SUV based on the Insignia platform. 
    Until this issue can get resolved, GM and PSA Group cannot move forward with the Opel sale. Originally, GM was planning to move their European assets into a new company titled Opel Automobile GmbH. But plans for this have been postponed.
    "Only when these service contracts are signed and the new ITEZ contract is signed can the business transition come," an insider told Allgemeine Zeitung.
    A spokeswoman for the works council told Automobilwoche that there was no disagreement between the various parties on this issue. But the complexity of this matter has pushed back plans for workers to ratify the agreement.
    Information sessions about the agreement that were supposed to take place this week have been reportedly canceled.
    Source: Automobilwoche, Allgemeine Zeitung

    William Maley

    Opel's CEO talks about what's in store for the future

    One of the big questions facing the sale of Opel to PSA Group is what will happen in the future. Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann spilled some of the beans in an interview with German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.
    Neumann will remain the CEO of Opel, but tells the magazine that he will work closely with PSA's CEO Carlos Tavares.
    "It is important for me to stand before employees and show leadership. I have done this in the past and will continue to do so," said Neumann.
    "I think we have great respect for each other. That is why I see a good foundation for continued cooperation," the magazine quoted Neumann as saying.
    Opel will also have its own leadership, and the ability to design and develop its own cars. The only difference is that it will be using platforms from PSA. Neumann says it will take several years for the brand to transition from GM to PSA platforms.
    The main priority is to get Opel profitable once again. This will be accomplished by deepening cooperation with PSA and lowering development costs. Opel is also planning their largest product offensive with 7 new models being launched in the near future. They include a new SUV that will serve as the second flagship model alongside the new Insignia and new electric models. Neumann declined to comment on a report he was planning to make Opel an electric-vehicle only brand.
    Interestingly, Neumann revealed that he was very skeptical about introducing Opel into the Chinese marketplace.
    "This is a complete misunderstanding of the situation. PSA has long since ceased to be sick, but has recovered very strongly and just presented a super result for 2016. And we are clearly on the road to recovery. From a strong and a well-being, two might now become strong."
    Source: Auto Motor und Sport

    William Maley

    Opel and Vauxhall say goodbye to GM and hello to PSA Group

    It is now official. This morning, PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for 2.2 billion euros (about $2.3 billion). The deal is comprised of a 1.8 billion euros ($1.9 billion) payment for Opel and Vauxhall, along with a stake in Opel's financing arm. This makes PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe.
    “It gives us the opportunity to become a real European champion. Our plan is to build a common future for Opel and Vauxhall and fix the existing issues,” said PSA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares.
    Those existing issues include Opel and Vauxhall never breaking even for GM. Over the past two decades, Opel and Vauxhall have lost almost $20 billion. In 2016, the division was projected to break even, but the complications of Great Britain leaving the EU meant they posted a loss of $257 million.
    "The way I look at this is positioning Opel-Vauxhall to be incredibly successful in the future," said GM CEO Mary Barra when asked by a reporter if she was relieved about the sale of Opel and Vauxhall. 
    "General Motors doesn't have to be relieved. They can be proud of giving Opel-Vauxhall a better future," said Tavares.
    PSA Group is aiming to make Opel and Vauxhall profitable once again, with operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 and 6 percent by 2026. These targets will be reached by joint cost savings of 1.7 billion euros (about $1.8 billion) by spreading the costs of developing new vehicles and sharing purchasing costs.
    General Motors won't be fully cutting its ties with Opel and Vauxhall for the time being. GM has allowed PSA Group to license technology rights to keep selling current models (including the upcoming Insignia) until they transition onto PSA platforms. According to Reuters, the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa will be the first PSA developed model. GM will also collaborate with PSA on various projects such as hydrogen fuel cells. Finally, GM will pay PSA 3 billion euros ($3.18 billion) to settle transferred pension obligations.
    But there are still a number of unanswered questions with this deal. The big one deals with job cuts and plant closures. With this deal, PSA group will add roughly 38,000 workers and 10 production facilities. Some analysts believe that PSA Group will close two to three plants within the next five years, with the possibility of those closures taking place in Great Britain due to Brexit. Taveres has said that the automaker would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.
    “We don’t need to shut down plants,” said Tavares.
    Second is what will happen for Buick and Holden when models they share with Opel transition to PSA platforms. Both Buick and Holden will be getting the next-generation Insignia as the Regal and Commodore. Buick also gets the Opel Mokka to sell as the Encore, while Holden sells the Astra compact.
    Finally, there is the question about PSA Group's plans to re-enter the U.S. How does the purchase of Opel and Vauxhall affect their plans?
    Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required), General Motors, PSA Group
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Opel/Vauxhall to join PSA Group
    Establishes PSA Group as #2 in Europe. This strong and balanced presence in its home markets will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide Joint venture in auto financing with BNP Paribas to support development of Opel/Vauxhall brands €2.2 Bn transaction advances GM’s transformation and unlocks shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation Detroit and Paris – General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and PSA Group (Paris:UG) today announced an agreement under which GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.3 Bn and €0.9 Bn, respectively.
    With the addition of Opel/Vauxhall, which generated revenue of €17.7 Bn in 20161, PSA will become the second-largest automotive company in Europe, with a 17% market share2.
    Creates sound European foundation for PSA to support its worldwide profitable growth
    “We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the Managing Board of PSA. “We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalizing on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”
    “We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” continued Mr. Tavares.
    Advances GM’s Transformation and Unlocks Value
    “We are very pleased that together, GM, our valued colleagues at Opel/Vauxhall and PSA have created a new opportunity to enhance the long-term performance of our respective companies by building on the success of our prior alliance”, said Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
    “For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.
    “We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects,” Ms. Barra concluded.
    Strengthens Each Company for the Long Term
    The transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D. Annual synergies of €1.7 Bn are expected by 2026 – of which a significant part is expected to be delivered by 2020, accelerating Opel/Vauxhall’s turnaround. Leveraging the successful partnership with GM, PSA expects Opel/Vauxhall to reach a recurring operating margin3 of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026, and to generate a positive operational free cash flow4 by 2020.
    PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50%/50% joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team. This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.
    The transaction is another step in GM’s ongoing work to transform the company, which has delivered three years of record performance and a strong 2017 outlook, and returned significant capital to shareholders. It will strengthen GM’s core business, support its continued deployment of resources to higher-return opportunities including in advanced technologies driving the future, and unlock significant value for shareholders.
    By immediately improving EBIT-adjusted, EBIT-adjusted margins and adjusted automotive free cash flow and de-risking the balance sheet, the transaction will enable GM to lower the cash balance requirement under its capital allocation framework by $2 Bn, which it intends to use to accelerate share repurchases, subject to market conditions.
    GM will also participate in the future success of the combined entity through its ownership of warrants to purchase shares of PSA. GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.
    Additional Information
    Terms of the Agreement
    Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations will be acquired by PSA for €1.3 Bn. GM Financial’s European operations will be jointly acquired by PSA and BNP Paribas for 0.8 times their pro forma book value at the closing of the transaction, or approximately €0.9 Bn.
    The transaction has a total value of €2.2 Bn, for Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations and 100% of GM Financial’s European operations.
    The transaction value for PSA, including Opel/Vauxhall and 50% of GM Financial’s European operations, will be €1.8 Bn.
    In connection with this transaction, GM or its affiliates will subscribe warrants for €0.65 Bn. These warrants have a nine-year maturity and are exercisable at any time in whole or in part commencing 5 years after the issue date, with a strike price of €1. Based on a reference price of €17.34 for the PSA share5 , the warrants correspond to 39.7 MM shares of PSA, or 4.2% of its fully diluted share capital6. GM will not have governance or voting rights with respect to PSA and has agreed to sell the PSA shares received upon exercise of the warrants within 35 days after exercise.
    The transaction includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering center (Rüsselsheim) and approximately 40,000 employees. GM will retain the engineering center in Torino, Italy.
    Opel/Vauxhall will also continue to benefit from intellectual property licenses from GM until its vehicles progressively convert to PSA platforms over the coming years.
    In connection with the transaction, GM will take a primarily non-cash special charge of $4.0-4.5 Bn.
    Ongoing Pension Fund Commitments
    All of Opel/Vauxhall’s European and U.K. pension plans, funded and unfunded, with the exception of the German Actives Plan and selected smaller plans will remain with GM. The obligations with respect to the German Actives Plan and these smaller plans of Opel/Vauxhall will be transferred to PSA. GM will pay PSA €3.0 Bn for full settlement of transferred pension obligations.
    Closing Conditions
    The transaction is subject to various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and reorganizations, and is expected to close before the end of 2017.
    Warrants
    The issuance of the warrants is subject to the vote of shareholders at PSA’s General Meeting of May 10th, 2017. The three main shareholders of PSA (the French State, the Peugeot family and DongFeng) representing in aggregate 36.6% of the share capital and 51.5%7 of the voting rights of PSA have undertaken to vote in favor of the resolution related to the issuance of the warrants to GM. In the event the warrant issuance reserved to GM and its affiliates is not approved by PSA’s General Meeting, PSA will settle the €0.65 Bn in cash over five years.

    William Maley

    Rumor has it that a deal has been reached by PSA and GM on Opel

    Only a few weeks after first learning about the talks between General Motors and PSA Group on the possible purchase of Opel/Vauxhall, Reuters reports that a deal has been reached.
    This afternoon, two sources told the news service the board of PSA Group approved the deal. An announcement about the purchase is expected on Monday. Also, Opel cut short a town hall meeting today at their headquarters in Ruesselsheim, Germany due to management being unable to discuss details about the potential acquisition. A town hall meeting possibly discussing this will take place on Monday morning.
    Details about the deal are being kept under wraps, but earlier in the week, sources revealed that the two parties had narrowed the differences on the almost $10 billion in Opel pension liabilities and other issues. 
    Source: Reuters

    William Maley

    Are you the long-rumored Buick Regal Tourx?

    As Opel and Vauxhall get ready to introduce the all-new Insignia Grand Sport and Sports Tourer for Geneva, a new set of spy shots reveals Opel is working on the next member of the Insignia family, the new Country Tourer.
    The mule seen in the photos obtained by Motor1 and The Truth About Cars reveal some noticeable changes from the standard Sports Tourer. First off, there are new bumpers and plastic body cladding to give it a more rugged look. It also appears the ride height has been raised, though how much is unknown at this time. All-wheel drive is expected, though there is talk about offering front-wheel drive to provide better fuel economy. As for power, expect some form of GM's 2.0L turbo-four. But The Truth About Cars says there is the possibility of a V6.
    Motor1 says Opel will be revealing the Insignia Country Tourer this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There is, of course, the rumor of Buick getting a wagon variant of the Insignia, possibly this model and being named the Regal Tourx. Whether that comes to fruition or not remains to be seen. 
    Source: Motor1, The Truth About Cars

    William Maley

    Its how much?!

    How much is Opel worth? According to Bloomberg, the valuation being discussed by General Motors and PSA Group puts it around $2 billion dollars. According to sources, the total comprises about $1 billion in cash and about $1 billion in liabilities. The amount could change as two are still assessing a number of items such as the value of brand rights and savings potential.
    The sources also the framework for PSA to buy Opel could be finished by Thursday. This would be the same day when PSA Group reports full-year earnings. The sources go on to caution this could be pushed back because of the complex nature of the deal such us finding ways to reduce costs while keeping workers and the various unions happy.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    Opel's CEO had a plan to make the brand electric only

    As General Motors and PSA Group continue their discussions (and damage control) on the possible sale of Opel/Vauxhall, a secret plan being developed by Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has been put on the back burner for the time being.
    German magazine manager magazin reports that Neumann had been working on a plan that would see Opel transition to selling electric vehicles only in an effort to ensure the brand's survival. GM Europe has been losing money for the past 15 years. In 2016, the branch posted a $257 million loss.
    Neumann was worried that Opel didn't have the resources to develop both combustion engine and electric drivetrains. The plan would see Opel end sales of combustion vehicles by 2030. To pull this off, the plan would have Opel divide into 'old' and 'new'. Vehicles would be using GM's electric vehicle platform that underpins the Chevrolet Bolt and Opel Ampera-e.
    manager magazin says the board was going to make a decision on Neumann's plan this spring - May at the latest.
    Source: manager magazin

    William Maley

    Activate damage control!

    Yesterday, news broke that General Motors and PSA Group (owner of Peugeot and Citroen) were in discussions on possibly selling Opel and Vauxhall. Already, the possible sale is under intense scrutiny from various European governments and unions. There are concerns about jobs being cut with this deal, and none are too happy that officials from local governments and unions were not included in the talks. There is also the possibility of political backlash coming to Germany and France as both will be holding elections later this year.
    "It's unclear whether GM will keep an Opel stake, who pays what and if anything will go through at all, given the political backlash," a source told Reuters.
    GM and PSA have declined to say what possible cuts to the workforce, plants, and other items that could be part of the deal. GM Europe employs roughly 38,000 workers - 19,000 are in Germany.
    “Almost all experts say that with this deal now being prepared between the large French, almost state-owned conglomerate and Opel, that especially the German Opel plants may be on the losing side,” saud Rainer Einenkel -- former works council chief at Opel’s Bochum plant, which was shut down.
    “The government has an interest in a successful future for the company and its sites. The government will, in light of the talks it’s holding with all parties involved, form an opinion,” said Steffen Seibert, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman.
    Over in Great Britain, there are concerns of Vauxhall being on the chopping block. Part of this comes from Britain deciding to the European Union. By leaving, the country would lose access to the EU Single Market which guarantees unconstrained trade across the member states. It would mean various countries would be leveraging tariffs on British-made goods, making production in the country less competitive. Also, if the deal was to go through, Vauxhall could be one of the first things to go when it comes time to cut costs.
    Unite, the British worker's union said the president of GM gave them assurance last year that there would not be any surprises in terms of GM's plants in Britain. With this deal, the union says those commitments had not been held.
    "It cannot be that the future of UK car workers’ jobs now lie in the hands of the French government and their backing for Peugeot," said Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey.
    Because of this, General Motors and PSA Group find themselves in damage control mode. GM CEO Mary Barra sent a memo to staff in the U.S. and Germany explaining the deal would be good for GM's future growth, the longevity of Opel's German operations, and shareholder value.
    “While there can be no assurance of any agreement, any possible transaction would enable PSA Groupe and Opel Vauxhall to leverage their complementary strengths, enhancing their competitive positions for the future in a rapidly changing European market,” said Barra in the message.
    A source tells Bloomberg that Barra and GM President Dan Ammann plan to meet with German government officials sometime in the future about the deal. Next week, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares will meet will officials. According to a source, Tavares plans on keeping Opel's management structure and keeping the brand as a German one.
    Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, 2

    William Maley

    Please do not adjust your monitor

    PSA Group is in discussions with General Motors on various strategic initiatives, including the possibility of acquiring Opel/Vauxhall. The news was first broke by Bloomberg and Reuters early this morning as sources revealed the two were in talks about swapping the ownership of Opel. Since then, a spokesman for PSA Group confirmed the talks.
    The maker of Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars is "exploring a number of strategic initiatives with GM with the aim of increasing its profitability and operating efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel."
    The two automakers already share production of SUVs and commercial vans, a key remnant of a possible alliance between the two automakers back in 2013.
    Why would GM sell Opel? Why is PSA Group interested in it? 
    “I can see why GM may possibly seek to sell its European division, which hasn’t made money in many years. It is less clear why Peugeot would be interested in buying GM’s assets. The purchase would give them capacity in Germany, one of the most expensive countries to produce cars and would lead to excess capacity,” said George Galliers, an analyst with Evercore ISI.
    For PSA Group, the purchase of Opel would give them access to Opel's engineering and electric-car tech, along with increasing their scale and cost savings from joint purchasing a source tells Bloomberg. 
    Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

    William Maley

    Coming soon: The wagon variant of the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport and Holden Commodore

    Previous Page Next Page It was a couple of months ago that Opel/Vauxhall/Holden unveiled the brand new Insignia Grand Sport/Commodore to the world. Today, the three automakers revealed the sister model, the Insignia Sports Tourer/Commodore Sportwagon.
    Basically, the Insignia Sports Tourer/Commodore Sportwagon follows the same the design as the Grand Sport/Commodore albeit with a longer roofline. This allows for an increase in cargo space with 520 liters (about 18.3 cubic feet) on offer behind the rear seats and 1,638 liters (about 57.8 cubic feet) when folded. 
    Like the new Grand Sport/Commodore, the Insignia Sports Tourer/Commodore Sportwagon uses a new architecture that cuts 200 kilograms (about 441 pounds) from the curb weight. The Sports Tourer/Sportswagon will also get the torque vectoring all-wheel drive system and adaptive suspension. Opel and Vauxhall are keeping quiet on the engine lineup, saying the Sports Tourer will be available with a range of gas and diesel engines. As for Holden, the Commodore Sportwagon will be offered with two turbocharged 2.0L engines - gas and diesel - and a 3.6L V6.
    Opel will be showing off both Insignias next month at the Geneva Motor Show with sales beginning sometime later. Holden plans on selling the Commodore Sportwagon next year. The big question is whether or not Buick will get this variant. There have been rumors flying around that it would get this, albeit something in the form like the Subaru Outback.
    Source: Opel, Holden
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Spacious and Sporty: The New Opel Insignia Sports Tourer
    Spacious: 100 liters more trunk space compared to predecessor, kicking motion opens power tailgate Fun: Convincing driving dynamics, all-wheel drive with torque vectoring Impressive: Consistent dynamic line following example of the Monza Concept Protective: With Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and more Bright: Latest generation Opel IntelliLux LED® matrix light turn night into day Connected: IntelliLink infotainment on Opel OnStar with hotel booking and parking information Cozy: Heated windshield, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats Coming soon: World premiere in Geneva this March, order books open in February Rüsselsheim.  The all-new Opel Insignia Sports Tourer is in extremely good shape. It follows the sporty example set by a large coupé, is uncompromisingly spacious and offers exemplary safety just like a true flagship should. The second generation Insignia impresses with its breathtaking lines, a trunk volume that has been increased to 1,640 liters – over 100 liters more than the outgoing model – and high-tech solutions ranging from the trendsetting Opel IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights and ultra-modern driver assistance systems to the cool head-up display. In addition, the Insignia comes with Opel-typical first-class connectivity with smartphone integration which now offers a new Opel OnStar feature – the Personal Assistant which allows Insignia occupants to book hotel rooms and search for parking via an OnStar Advisor. The new flagship is also the first car made in Rüsselsheim available with an eight-speed automatic transmission, a 360° camera and intelligent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring. The new Opel Insignia Sports Tourer will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 7 and order books will open in February.
    The new Opel Insignia Sports Tourer is up to 200 kilograms lighter than the outgoing model – depending on powertrain and trim. This was mainly made possible by the use of lightweight materials and efficient packaging. Combined with the lower seating position of the driver it results in a noticeable increase in driving dynamics – never before has a large station wagon from Rüsselsheim been so agile.
    “Our new flagship is packed with ‘high-tech’ for everyone, with affordable technologies that make driving safer and more comfortable. Then there is the interior space! Whether for business or recreation, the new Insignia Sports Tourer meets just about every kind of transport requirement. In other words, it is the spaceship from Rüsselsheim! Finally, the driving experience – really dynamic! The car is much leaner than before and features the newest generation FlexRide chassis,” said Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann.
    High-tech assistance systems: For more comfort and safety
    The new Insignia Sports Tourer comes with the same leading technologies already announced for the Grand Sport sedan. Most notably that includes the next generation of the adaptive Opel IntelliLux LED® matrix light system, which is even quicker and more precise than before. Features such as Lane Keep Assist with automatic steering correction increase safety even further. Furthermore, the new Insignia is the first Opel with an active hood. In case of a collision, the hood lifts up in milliseconds, thus increasing the distance to the engine and offering pedestrians improved protection.
    Inside, the optional AGR-certified (Aktion Gesunder Rücken e. V.) premium ergonomic seats with massage, ventilation and memory function ensure an even more comfortable ride. Furthermore, the two outer rear seats are heated – just like the windshield. The large panorama sunroof enables an unhindered view towards heaven. Obviously, Opel thought about comfortable and clean loading. The tailgate of the new Insignia Sports Tourer can be opened and closed by making a kicking motion under the rear bumper.
    Emotional eye catcher: Insignia Sports Tourer in Monza Concept skin
    The new Insignia Grand Sport already takes many cues from the athletic Monza Concept but this is taken even further in the new generation Insignia Sports Tourer. Although the exterior dimensions have grown slightly to 4,986 millimeters, the newcomer looks much more athletic and agile. The 11 millimeters increased track, the prominent grille and the Monza Concept-inspired headlights all add to this perception. The car’s stance is also emphasized by the wheelbase, which has been extended by 92 millimeters to 2,829 millimeters, and a front overhang that has been reduced by 30 millimeters. The Opel blade starting in the front door and sweeping towards the rear helps carry the eye from front to back. The chrome window blade dynamically flows into the LED tail lamps and gives the ‘low’, only 1,483 millimeter tall Insignia Sports Tourer an even more athletic appearance. The silver roof rails (standard in all equipment levels) help stretch the car, make it look lower and emphasize the high-quality design.
    The Insignia Sports Tourer’s kinship with the Monza Concept is especially apparent at the rear: The shape looks much lighter than before with the newcomer defined by clear lines. Together with the slim, slightly protruding LED taillights in double-wing design, they help the rear end of the Opel flagship to make a strong impression. The high-tech look of the Monza Concept thus becomes reality.
    Easy loader: Tailgate with an extra kick
    The next generation Sports Tourer not only looks more elegant and sporty, it is also more practical. The overhang between bumper and trunk is reduced, thanks to the neatly designed tailgate, which also makes loading easier. In addition, the width between the wheel arches has increased, which makes it easier to install bulky items such as a dog kennel. The same applies to the length of the trunk, which has grown by 97 millimeters to 2,005 millimeters with the backs of the rear seats folded. The new Insignia Sports Tourer thus offers a maximum trunk volume of 1,640 liters, over 100 liters more than its predecessor.
    In order to make loading as easy as possible, the tailgate can be opened with a kick, without touching the car. In combination with “Keyless Open” a simple small kicking motion under the rear bumper is enough to open the tailgate (a vehicle silhouette projected onto the ground shows the correct area). A further kicking motion under the bumper will close the tailgate. The clever system can detect any obstruction and stops the mechanism in case of emergency. In addition, for practicability, the height of the opening can be programmed, in case the car is in a garage. Furthermore, the tailgate can still be opened by a switch on the driver’s side of the car, a button at the rear or via the key’s remote control.
    In order to increase loading space the new Insignia Sports Tourer comes with optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seats enabling even more flexible loading space configurations. The rear seat bank can be folded down by simply pushing a button located in the luggage compartment. Furthermore, the FlexOrganizer Pack with side rails, dividing nets and various fastening options is available as an option so that all loaded materials can be stored safely and tidily. The upward-opening trunk cover makes for even easier access to the trunk.
    Wellness: Comfort and connectivity for driver and passengers
    The attention to detail is also recognizable in the passenger compartment. Headroom has increased by 31 millimeters, shoulder-room by 25 millimeters and space for the hips by 27 millimeters. Additional luxury is provided by the optional 1,400 x 860 millimeters panorama sunroof that stretches back over the heads of rear-seat passengers. For the first time, both outer rear seats of the Insignia are also heated.
    The cockpit is adapted to the person sitting behind the steering wheel. The driver of the new Insignia Sports Tourer sits lower in the car than before and is surrounded by the instruments and center console, as if sitting in a command center. Clear lines and sculptural surfaces true to the Opel design philosophy contribute further to the elegant appearance. The frameless touchscreen of the IntelliLink system, which is oriented towards the driver, displays a high-class character. In addition to the touchscreen, the controls can be operated intuitively by three rows of buttons. The top row is reserved for the infotainment system, the middle row for heating, ventilation and air conditioning and the bottom row is for driver assistance systems.
    Great entertainment and outstanding connectivity are ensured by the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems. And while the smartphone is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment it now can also be charged wirelessly without the use of a cable. Naturally, the groundbreaking connectivity and service assistant Opel OnStar is also on board, offering services ranging from Automatic Crash Response to Stolen Vehicle Assistance. A new Personal Assistant service will be launched together with the Insignia, enabling its occupants to ask OnStar advisors, for example, to select a hotel and proceed to room reservation as well as looking for available parking. Furthermore, the 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot featured in the OnStar system allows all Insignia occupants to connect their devices to the net.
    Elsewhere, the premium, AGR-certified ergonomic front seats in the Insignia offer a unique combination of electric side bolster settings, massage, memory and ventilation functions while the heated windshield guarantees good visibility quickly on cold winter days.
    Top technologies: IntelliLux LED®, 360° camera, active Lane Keep Assist
    One of the highlights in every sense of the word is the (already) second generation of Opel’s innovative and award-winning adaptive IntelliLux LED® matrix light, enabled by new generation LED technology and further developments from Opel engineers. The Opel LED®matrix light now has 16 LED segments integrated into each of the very slim headlamps of the Insignia. The increased number of LED segments enables the various light patterns to adapt to the prevailing traffic situation even more precisely and the transitions between the multiple lighting patterns are faster and more seamless. To improve visibility even further while driving through curves on full high beam, Opel engineers added an innovative active curve lighting function to the new Insignia’s IntelliLux LED® matrix headlights. According to the steering angle, the light intensity provided by the LED segments lighting the inner of the curve rises to better illuminate the line to follow. Last but not least, a further, dedicated LED spotlight located within the low beam module provides additional illumination at full high-beam for up to 400 meters.
    Additional driver assistance systems include:
    Head-up-Display: Information on speed, traffic signs, set speed of speed limiter or navigation direction is projected onto the windshield and in the driver’s direct line of sight ensuring that the eyes remain on the road. 360° camera, which consists of four individual cameras on each side of the car. It enables a 360-degree bird’s-eye view and thus facilitates every parking maneuver. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which measures the distance to the vehicle in front and adapts the speed accordingly. ACC will initiate automatic emergency braking if the distance decreases abruptly. Lane Keep Assist with automated steering correction and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Provides gentle steering wheel movements (and LDW alerts if necessary) to help drivers avoid unintentionally drifting out of their lane. Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects coming from up to 20 meters at 90 degrees from the left or right side behind the vehicle, a very useful function when reversing out of a parking spot with limited visibility. Pure fun to drive: Torque vectoring all-wheel drive and broad range of powertrains

    Driving pleasure and safety no matter what the conditions are guaranteed thanks to the Insignia’s new intelligent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring – the most sophisticated in class. Two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches in the all-wheel drive system replace the usual rear axle differential, providing a much more precise power transmission to each wheel individually, no matter whether the roads are graveled, wet, icy or snowy. When cornering, additional torque is transmitted to the outside rear wheel, sensibly reducing understeering and enabling more precise control. The system reacts within a split-second of the accelerator being pressed, ensuring that the car remains more stable and easier to steer in every situation. In addition, the further improved FlexRide chassis provides the basis for excellent, situation-based driving behavior. FlexRide adapts the dampers, steering, throttle response and shift points (on automatics) independently or based on the modes ‘Standard’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Tour’, which can be selected by the driver. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyzes the information provided by the sensors and settings and recognizes the individual driving style.
    When the order books open, the Insignia Sports Tourer will be available with a range of turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines along with latest generation transmissions. An absolute newcomer can be found in the highly efficient eight-speed automatic. It impresses with class-leading shifting comfort and will initially only be available in combination with all-wheel drive.
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    Also known as the 2018 Buick Regal

    Previous Page Next Page Just a day after a set of spy shots revealed the next-generation Opel and Vauxhall Insignia, Vauxhall has unveiled the 2017 Insignia Grand Sport. Meanwhile, Holden has pulled the wraps of the 2018 Commodore.
    The Insignia/Commodore borrows a lot of cues from the 2013 Monza concept with a lowered grille, distinct sculpting along the side, and shorter overhangs. This new shape is more aerodynamic with a drag coefficient of 0.26. Even though the new Insignia is the same length as the outgoing model, the new one has a wheelbase that has been stretched 3.6 inches for added legroom. Other measurements to be aware of include,
    Track increased by 0.4 inches Roof lowered by 1.1 inches New Insignia weighs 132 pounds less than the outgoing model As for the Commodore, the measurements to be aware of are,
    2.9 inches shorter in overall length Wheelbase is 3.4 inches shorter 1.4 inches narrower in width There is a lot of inspiration from the smaller Astra when it comes to the interior. Both models feature a similar dash design and a large touchscreen. The feature list includes heated front and rear seats, a massaging function for the front seats, heads-up display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
    There is no mention of engines for the Insignia, but we're assuming there will be a range of diesel and gas engines - a fair majority of them being turbocharged. Some engines will feature a new eight-speed automatic transmission. As for the Commodore, Holden has revealed that it will come with 2.0L turbo engines running gas or diesel, and a 3.6L V6. There is also a new all-wheel drive system that features with two electrically-controlled multi-plate clutches taking the place of the rear differential. This will also bring torque vectoring to the models. Both models will come with am adaptive FlexRide chassis that offers a number of modes.
    Vauxhall says the Insignia Grand Sport will debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show, while the Holden Commodore will go on sale in early 2018. This leads us to believe that Buick will likely reveal the 2018 Regal at the New York Auto Show.
     
    Source: Vauxhall, Holden
    Press Release is on Page 2
    VAUXHALL REVEALS ALL-NEW INSIGNIA
    Elegant lines with class-leading aerodynamics and large coupé style Up to 175kg lighter than the outgoing version New all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring and eight-speed automatic transmission New technologies including next-gen IntelliLux Matrix LED headlights Extended OnStar service with hotel reservation Luton – Vauxhall has released first pictures of the all-new Insignia, known as the Insignia Grand Sport, which will receive its world premiere at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March.
    Following on from the previous generation, which won the European Car of the Year in 2009, and sold over 30,000 in the UK last year, the Insignia Grand Sport is based on a completely new vehicle architecture. Its revised proportions result in a more spacious interior, giving the car a more athletic appearance and an improved road stance, including class-leading aerodynamics and Cd figure of just 0.26.
    Like with the Astra, efficiency was key for the engineers. Optimised packaging and the use of lightweight materials have helped cut the weight by up to 175kg, allowing high-tech features such as the ultra-modern all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and the new eight-speed automatic transmission to exploit their strengths to the full.
    There is a raft of top technologies that make driving the Insignia Grand Sport safer, more relaxing and more comfortable than before. Next generation IntelliLux LED matrix lighting, Lane Keep Assist, Head-up Display and unique AGR-certified premium seats, front- and rear-seat heating and a heated windshield are just some examples.
    Outstanding infotainment and connectivity are also on board thanks to the latest generation IntelliLink systems and Vauxhall OnStar, which with the launch of the Insignia Grand Sport, will offer even more functionality for customers.
    It is also the first Vauxhall with an active aluminium bonnet, improving pedestrian protection considerably.
    “Vauxhall is raising its game even further with the launch of the new Insignia Grand Sport,” said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. ““It has all of the virtues of its successful smaller brother the Astra, and takes those to a higher level. The Insignia Grand Sport will set new standards for design, efficiency, technology and connectivity when it debuts next year at the Geneva Motor Show.”
    DESIGN
    The Monza Concept was the inspiration behind the interior and exterior design.
    Despite a largely unchanged length compared to its predecessor, the new generation car has managed to shed around 60kg of weight from its body-in-white alone. In total, the new car weighs up to 175kg less than the outgoing model.
    Its roof is 29mm lower and its track has increased by 11mm. The overhangs have been reduced considerably and the wheelbase enlarged by 92mm.
    The prominent grille and the slim-line headlamps enhance the wide horizontal design of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasises its solid stance. What Vauxhall calls a “sweepspear” feature starts in the front door and gives the impression that the Insignia Grand Sport is always ready to pounce, which is another nod to the athletic lightness of the Monza Concept.
    The side window graphics feature an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline graphically pulls the car down and emphasises its stretched appearance. The “blade” light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. Clear and simple lines at the rear combined with the double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly-designed high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end of the Insignia Grand Sport a more high-tech look that is often found on premium brands. A further advantage of this sporty body design is that the newcomer has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.
    “In its proportions as well as in each detail, we wanted the new Insignia Grand Sport to deliver an upscale quality feel,” said Brit Mark Adams, Vauxhall/Opel Vice President Design Europe. “Its design combines flowing lines and subtle surfaces with crisp, precise lines to exaggerate its dramatic proportions: it looks longer, lower and wider than it actually is, and it definitely looks upscale. Every design feature conveys technical know-how and the utmost precision. The new Insignia Grand Sport is an excellent value proposition with the aura of a car from the premium, upper class.”
    The attention to the smallest detail is also tangible inside the vehicle. Clean lines, pleasant surfaces and first-class craftsmanship also provide a feeling of elegance and lightness. The cockpit is fully aligned to the driver who sits 3cm lower than previously. In addition, the driver is integrated better and gets a completely new driving experience. The centre console provides additional support, the instruments face the driver and all controls can easily be reached. All this results in a position similar to the one provided in a competition touring car. The frameless touchscreen of the IntelliLink infotainment system exudes a sophisticated and technical charm. Furthermore, the system is much more intuitive to use than before. Apart from the driver, all other occupants of the Grand Sport also benefit from the new design and the reworked proportions of the car. The extended wheelbase gives passengers in the rear more space.
    PROPULSION TECHNOLOGY
    The Insignia Grand Sport will be available with a wide range of turbocharged engines and transmissions when it is officially launched next year. The highly efficient eight-speed automatic transmission is new to the line-up. It impresses with class-leading shift quality. The gear ratios have been extended and shifts are extremely smooth and hardly noticeable. Simultaneously the car accelerates eagerly – even at low engine speeds. The eight-speed automatic transmission, which will initially only be available in combination with all-wheel drive, is friction-optimised and improves efficiency.
    New intelligent all-wheel drive
    Two electrically controlled multi-plate clutches replace the rear axle differential. For the first time, it will provide an all-wheel drive Vauxhall with torque vectoring – the best way to transmit power to the road, even if it is wet, icy or snowy. The vehicle receives steering impulses via the active, controlled torque distribution to the individual wheel. For example, when cornering, additional torque is transmitted to the outside rear wheel, enabling the Insignia Grand Sport to corner more precisely. The system reacts within a split-second when the accelerator is pressed, keeping the car more stable and easier to control in every situation.
    The further improved FlexRide chassis provides the basis for optimal, situation-based driving behaviour. It adapts the dampers, steering, throttle response and shift points (on automatics) independently or based on the modes ‘Standard’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Tour’, which can be selected by the driver. Depending on the selected mode, steering and throttle response are more direct and the ESP anti-skid system intervenes earlier or later. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyses the information provided by the sensors and settings and recognises the individual driving style.
    DRIVING ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS
    No other model in the segment offers such a wide range of intelligent technologies as the new edition of the Vauxhall flagship.
    One of the highlights is the next generation of Vauxhall’s innovative and award-winning IntelliLux LED matrix light. It now has 32 LED segments – twice as many as in the Astra – that are all integrated in the new slimmer headlamps of the Insignia. The increased number of LED elements enables the various light patterns to adapt to the prevailing traffic situation even more precisely and the transitions between the modes are more seamless. This results in an improvement of both the quality of light distribution and light intensity. To improve visibility even further while driving through curves on full high beam, the engineers added a new function to the new Insignia’s IntelliLux LED matrix headlights. The light intensity at the inner matrix segments rises according to steering angle in order to increase the illumination of the curve. In addition, a further high-beam spotlight provides additional illumination at full high-beam for up to 400 meters.
    Additional driver assistance systems include:
    Head-up-Display: Information on speed, traffic signs, set speed of speed limiter or navigation direction is projected onto the windscreen and in the driver’s direct line of sight ensuring that the eyes remain on the road. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which measures the distance to vehicle in front and adapts the speed accordingly. ACC will initiate automatic emergency braking if the distance decreases abruptly. Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. Provides gentle steering wheel movements (and LDW alerts if necessary) to help drivers avoid accidents due to unintentionally drifting out of their lane. Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects coming from up to 20 meters at 90 degrees from the left or right side behind the vehicle. COMFORT AND INFOTAINMENT
    Vauxhall is still one of the few manufacturers to offer seats certified by “Aktion Gesunder Rücken” (Campaign for Healthy Backs). The premium ergonomic seats in the Insignia offer a unique combination of side bolster settings, massage, memory and ventilation functions in addition to the standard setting possibilities. Passenger in the rear can also look forward to more comfort with the two outside seats being available with optional seat heating. Elsewhere, the heated windscreen guarantees good visibility quickly on cold winter days. In addition, keyless “Open & Start” comes as standard on all trim levels and enables comfortable access to the vehicle.
    Great entertainment and outstanding connectivity, both typical for Vauxhall, are provided by the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems. And while the smartphone is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment it can also be charged wirelessly without the use of a cable. The ground-breaking connectivity and service assistant Vauxhall OnStar is also on board, offering services ranging from Automatic Crash Response to Stolen Vehicle Assistance. A new concierge service will be launched together with the Insignia Grand Sport, enabling its occupants to ask OnStar advisors to select a hotel and proceed to room reservation. Furthermore, up to seven devices can be connected to the Wi-Fi Hotspot.
    Next-Generation Holden Commodore Breaks Cover – Brings Premium Technology To The People
    First images of Holden’s cutting-edge Next Generation Commodore released   Commodore takes technology usually seen only in high-end premium vehicles and brings it to the people Most advanced Commodore ever includes: autonomous emergency braking, adaptive suspension, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control and matrix lighting V6 flagship boasts 230kW and 370Nm, world-first ‘Twinster’ all-wheel drive system and 9-speed transmission for the first time ever on a Holden   Next-generation Holden Commodore on sale in 2018  Holden has today revealed first images and more details of the all-new Commodore ahead of its Australian launch early in 2018. The next-gen Commodore takes cutting-edge safety, driving and infotainment technology and makes it available for today’s Australians, everywhere. The next-generation Holden Commodore is democratizing technology.
    Now with images of the next Commodore breaking cover, Australia gets its first look at the sleek and sophisticated design that will be hitting Australian roads in 2018. Designed in Germany by the Opel team with input from GM Holden’s team, the new Commodore takes the best of Europe and makes it great for Australia.
    Building on information released last month regarding the next-generation Commodore, Holden has today confirmed a raft of premium technologies will make Commodore the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. From potentially life-saving safety technology features, to active driving technology and seamless infotainment, the all-new Commodore will make driving safer, easier, more involving and more connected than ever before for Australian customers.
    “Customers are expecting more of their vehicles than ever before,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “The all-new 2018 Commodore redefines the level of technology people can expect, and how tech can help our customers be safer, more involved and more connected than ever before. The Commodore combines technology across a number of areas in a way that you would usually only find in high-end prestige vehicles and makes it available for everyday Australians. Combined with the howling V6, world-first all-wheel-drive system and all the on-road performance you expect from the Commodore, this is a car that ticks all the boxes and more,” said Mr Keley.
    Going on sale in Australia early in 2018, the new Commodore range will be headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the iconic nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore will continue to cement Holden’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement.
    Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development, said the technical underpinnings of the next Commodore also represents Holden’s commitment to bringing the best vehicles from around the word to Australian customers.
    “From its cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system, to nine-speed transmission and adaptive suspension, this is a true driver’s car in the way Commodore has always been. We’re taking the best of Europe and making it even better for our Australian customers. I can’t wait for our customers to get behind the wheel”
    In addition to the Commodore’s unique all-wheel-drive system, further details surrounding the ‘FlexRide’ suspension system have also been confirmed. The continuously adaptable FlexRide chassis electro-hydraulically adapts the dampers to the road and the driving conditions 500 times per second or 30,000 times per minutes.
    Additionally, the driver can save personal preferences for the steering characteristics, throttle response and dampers via the ‘Sport’ button.
    ‘Standard’: The automatic control selects the best set-up based on the information collected by the vehicle sensors. ‘Tour’: Comfortable chassis configuration, and throttle response for best fuel consumption and most relaxed touring. The right mode for relaxing long-distance drives. ‘Sport’: Brake dive is reduced, flat and responsive chassis control at high speeds and the throttle and steering provide more direct feedback. The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyses the information provided by the sensors and setting and recognizes the individual driving style. The individual systems are then optimized for the best traction and road position.
    Exterior Design:
    The design of the next Commodore is based on the ‘Monza’ Concept car, created by the Opel Design team in Germany. The prominent front grille and the slim-line headlamps are directly inspired by the Monza Concept enhance the wide horizontal gesture of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasises the solid stance.
    The side window graphics feature with an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline graphically pull the car down and emphasize its stretched appearance. The ‘blade’ light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. The new Commodore is as sleek as it looks: it has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.
    At the rear, clear and simple lines combined with the slim, precise double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly designed center high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end a more high-tech look typical of premium brands’ vehicles.
    Interior Design: 
    The attention to the smallest detail is also evident inside the Commodore. The cockpit is organized along horizontal lines, enhancing the feeling of elegant lightness and of space. The cockpit is orientated to the driver for a sportier feeling. The generous center console that further embraces the driver provides the feeling of sitting in a much larger class of vehicle. Clean lines, modern surfaces and first-class craftsmanship with soft-feel materials at all touch points contribute to a feeling of elegance and grace.
    Infotainment system design:
    Equal attention has been paid to the controls and the infotainment interface. The frameless touchscreen of the infotainment system exudes a sophisticated and technical charm. Many functions are controlled via the touchscreen in order to simplify the interface, while three clusters of buttons have been designed to allow quick and intuitive operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, the lower ones for driver assistant controls. This very clear set-up avoids drivers and passengers having to dive into sub-menus on the touchscreen to find the most essential functions.
    NEXT-GENERATION COMMODORE KEY HIGHLIGHTS:
    Cutting-edge driver assistance systems and technology: Autonomous Emergency Braking Adaptive Cruise Control Speed Limit Cruise Control Lane Departure Warning Lane Keep Assist Forward Collision Alert Side Blind-Zone Alert Rear Cross-Traffic Alert 360-degree Camera Next-generation comfort and convenience technologies: Massage Seats Rear one-touch folding seats Heated Front and Rear seats Ventilated Front seats Express up/down all windows Wagon power lift-gate Active Noise Cancellation Program overview: 
    Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia Lightweight construction methods result in approximately 200kg weight savings compared to current Commodore Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system Adaptive ‘Flexride’ suspension system offers three settings: ‘Tour’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Sport’  Next-generation matrix lighting system Infotainment includes: Apple Car Play and Android Auto 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display, next-gen head-up display Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    Damn! The next-generation Insignia (Buick Regal to us) is looking quite sharp

    It has been a long time coming. But we knew sooner or later, we would get our first glimpse at the upcoming Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (also Buick Regal and Holden Commodore) minus the camo. That day has finally arrived as the Insignia sedan and Sport Tourer have been caught uncovered. 
    The front end reminds us a lot of the current Mazda6 - a flat nose with a pentagonal grille and slim headlights. Along the side, there has been some sculpting along the lower part of the doors that add some sharpness. The back end features similar styling to the Buick LaCrosse with a similarly shaped trunklid and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. The Sport Tourer features a more distinctive character line and a steeply raked rear tailgate.
    Both models are the top-line OPC trim which means a number of sporty touches to the exterior, 20-inch wheels, large Brembo brakes, small spoiler, and dual exhaust tips.
    The second-generation Insignia is 2.1 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched 3.6 inches. This should help one of the key issues of the current Insignia and its brethren, a tight back seat. The new Insignia has also been lowered by 1.1 inches to give it a sportier stance.
    Motor1 reports that Opel and Vauxhall will reveal the next-generation Insignia later this month online, followed by a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Sports Tourer expected a few months later. 
    Source: Motor1.com

    William Maley

    Opel/Vauxhall's Insignia Sports Tourer is caught on camera. Could this be coming to the U.S. as a Buick?

    Usually, we don't report on wagons in our spying reports because there are no chances they are coming to the U.S. But with the recent rumors of the next-generation Buick Regal possibly getting a wagon variant. we tend to pay attention. Which brings us nicely to a set of spy photos of the 2017 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.
    Compared to the current Sports Tourer, the new one shown in these pictures looks to be slightly longer and wider. Up front, the nose looks to be more upright and there are new headlights. Opel has attached body panels behind the c-pillar to try and disguise the slope of the roof and window shape. 
    How does this connect to the Buick Regal? As we reported a couple of weeks ago in the rumorpile, Buick is possibly getting a version of the Insignia Sports Tourer. Wearing the Tourx nameplate, the wagon would get an increase in ride height, body cladding, and all-wheel drive. 
    Opel and Vauxhall are expected to reveal the new Insignia and Insignia Sports Tourer sometime next year. Hopefully then, we'll learn whether or not Buick will get the Sports Tourer or not.
    Source: Autoblog, Carscoops

    William Maley

    From U.S. with love

    Previous Page Next Page GM's European division is giving electrics another try. Next month at the Paris Motor Show, Opel and Vauxhall will unveil the Ampera-e. Yes, this is a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Bolt EV. 
    Opel is keeping a lot of details close to their chest before Paris. But they did reveal some details about the Ampera-e's powertrain. The electric motor will produce 150 kW/201 horsepower. The top speed is around 150 km/h (about 93 mph). 
    “The Opel Ampera-e makes electromobility fully feasible for everyday use and ready for the future. The Ampera-e demonstrates impressively how well sustainability and driving pleasure can form a unity. And with its strong-as-an-ox electric motor, it delivers pure fun-to-drive,” said Opel CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann in a statement.
    Source: Opel
    Press Release is on Page 2
    “e” for Electrifying: Opel Ampera-e World Premiere in Paris
    e-Premiere: revolutionary electric car at Paris motor show e-fun to drive: acceleration and overtaking ability like a sportscar e-connectivity: always online with IntelliLink infotainment and Opel OnStar Rüsselsheim.  Opel will revolutionize electromobility at the up-coming “Mondial de l’Automobile” in Paris. From October 1-16 the Opel Ampera-e – an electric car that electrifies in every way – makes its world premiere (hall 5-2, booth 501). The car with the lightning flash logo combines pioneering battery technology and localized emissions-free operation with a fun-to-drive experience, as the maximum torque of 360 Nm provides impressive acceleration figures and overtaking ability.
    “The Opel Ampera-e makes electromobility fully feasible for everyday use and ready for the future” says Opel CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “The Ampera-e demonstrates impressively how well sustainability and driving pleasure can form a unity. And with its strong-as-an-ox electric motor, it delivers pure fun-to-drive.”
    The maximum torque of 360 Nm is responsible for the electrifying temperament of the new Opel. The power output of the electric motor is 150 kW/204 hp (PS). Standing starts at traffic lights and entering the motorway belong to the Opel Ampera-e’s favorite disciplines. The compact car sprints to 50 km/h in only 3.2 seconds, acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h for overtaking is accomplished in just 4.5 seconds (provisional figures). The Ampera-e thus performs at the same level as OPC models, the sporty spearheads of Opel.
    Fun-to-drive with the Opel Ampera-e also means swift cruising at up to 150 km/h. At the same time, the Ampera-e also offers a significantly longer range than most other electric cars. The unique, compact proportions of the Ampera-e are driven by the battery pack being mounted flat, under the vehicle floor. The efficient packaging of the battery also enables a roomy interior providing comfortable seating for five passengers and trunk space comparable with that of a car in the compact class.
    Best entertainment: download your favorite films and music
    Driving pleasure for the passengers over long distances is provided. In addition to the excellent feeling of roominess, there comes the best in digital connectivity, in typical Opel fashion. The Ampera-e has the newest generation of IntelliLink infotainment as well as Opel OnStar onboard. Subject to availability, the award-winning connectivity and service assistant simultaneously offers up to seven mobile devices access to its powerful Wi-Fi hotspot. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible IntelliLink systems bring the world of smartphones into the Ampera-e, so that passengers have full access to their favorite music or can download at will their preferred films – just a few examples of the many functions of the multifaceted entertainment. 
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    Opel is currently in hot water with the German Government over software that can turn off the emission controls

    It seems a week can't go by without another automaker being embroiled in either a fuel economy or emission mess. This week, the German Government has requested Opel to provide more information on a piece of software that turns off the emission controls in the Zafira. The issue at hand is whether or not this software violates regulations.
     
    "Shut-off devices are fundamentally illegal, unless it is truly necessary to safeguard the engine," said Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's transport minister after a meeting with Opel to discuss this issue.
     
    "Therefore it's clear that in this situation, we have our doubts."
     
    This meeting comes after a joint investigation between Spiegel magazine, ARD television's Monitor program and the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmentalist group. The investigation found software used in the Insignia and Zafira that would turn off emission controls under various conditions such as going above 90 mph. Opel went on the defensive, saying the conclusion was wrong.
     
    "We at Opel don't have any illegal software," said Opel president Karl-Thomas Neumann in a statement on Tuesday.
     
    Opel explained they do have software that can turn off the emission controls at high speeds, but this was only done to protect the engine. The automaker says this software is legal.
     
    But the committee who is looking into this issue has their doubts.
     
    "The investigating committee has doubts about whether this practice is completely justified by the protection of the engine," said Dobrindt.
     
    Opel has promised to cooperate with the investigation. The committee gave the automaker 14 days to provide technical information on the software.
     
    Dobrindt said he would ask other automakers if they use something similar to Opel's software.
     
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters

    William Maley

    For Sale: Vauxhall Astra, Low Mileage, Has Racing Seats and Rollcage

    The Vauxhall Astra was the final 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' before the whole Jeremy Clarkson 'fracas' imploded the show. Now you have the chance to own this vehicle.
     
    Vauxhall put the vehicle up for sale this week on eBay, describing the model as a 1.5L TechLine hatchback with 115 horsepower. The Astra is fitted with a full roll cage along with two Corbeau Sprint Racing seats and five-point safety harnesses. It should be noted the airbags are disabled due to the rollcage. Mileage is listed at 2,908 miles. But considering how much abuse this Astra was put through, we think it should read 2,908,000 miles.
     
    During the Astra's time as the 'Reasonably Priced Car', 23 stars took the car around the Top Gear track. Singer Olly Murs was the fastest with a time of 1:44.6. This is closely followed by Nicholas Hoult and Aaron Paul at 1:44.7.
     
    At the time of this writing, the current bid stands at £8,000.00 (about $11,365.25) with the reserve not met. Proceeds of the sale will go to automotive support network BEN.
     
    Source: eBay, Vauxhall
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


    GOING, GOING, GONE - AGAIN
    BBC Top Gear’s Reasonably Priced Vauxhall Astra back up for auction to raise money for BEN 2013 Astra driven by Will Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch New eBay auction opening today: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/-/231913252015

    The Vauxhall Astra used in the last series of BBC’s Top Gear as their Reasonably Priced Car is up back for sale to raise money for the automotive support network BEN.
     

    The 2013 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 was driven by a host of celebrities including Tom Hiddleston, Jack Whitehall and Steven Tyler. The car, donated by Vauxhall Motors, was initially offered for auction late last year, but with the original sale now fallen through, the way is clear for one lucky Top Gear fan to bid for the vehicle on eBay as well as contribute to a worthy cause.
     
    BEN is committed to making positive differences to the lives of people within the automotive industry and their dependents. The organisation offers a wide range of free and confidential information, advice and Support Services, along with the provision of residential, nursing and specialist care services at multiple care centres around the UK.
     
    David Main, Chief Executive at BEN said: “It is a shame the original sale fell through, but this of course does mean another chance for a Top Gear fan to get their hands on a piece of the show’s history, after all this was the last car to be used in the show’s previous format.”
     
    He added: “Who knows, perhaps Chris Evans or Matt Le Blanc may fancy bidding on it themselves?!”
     
    With an estimated 350 million views in 170 different countries per week, the 2013 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 was initiated with a star-studded barbeque, featuring celebrities including comedians Jimmy Carr and Warwick Davis, and singers Brian Johnson and Joss Stone. Celebrities such as Olly Murs, who topped the leader board, Margot Robbie, Ron Howard and James Blunt all thrashed it around the Top Gear Test Track at Dunsfold Park, Surrey.
     
    The five-door Power Red 1.6-litre 115bhp Vauxhall Astra Tech Line will be auction on eBay, from today for 2 weeks until 28th April, with a reserve of £10,000 - all proceeds from the sale will be donated to BEN.
     
    The spec:
    Mileage – 2,908 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels Sat-nav system with seven-inch colour monitor Three-spoke leather-covered sports steering wheel Multi-function trip computer USB connection with iPod control Mobile phone system with Bluetooth Digital radio with six premium speakers Chrome-effect exterior side window surround Front Corbeau Sprint Racing seats with 5 point safety belt harness and full roll-cage

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Bidders should be aware that the airbags have all been disabled making room for the roll-cage. To re-instate the airbags would involve removing the roll-cage and seating. So, in its current state, the car is not type-approved and should not be driven on the road. The Vauxhall Technical Team will work with the successful bidder at handover to fully explain how the vehicle has been adapted. Please be aware converting the vehicle back into use on the public highway would incur significant cost.

    William Maley

    Belgian News Site Says Opel Is Quietly Updating Software to Improve Emissions

    When information first broke out that Volkswagen was using illegal software to fool emission testing equipment on their diesel vehicles, questions arose of whether or not other automakers are doing the same thing.
     
    Belgian news site VRT News alleges that Opel is secretly updating the emission control software in the Zafira 1.6 diesel by saying it's only a software update. This vehicle has been the target of various environmental groups as being one of the dirtiest vehicles.
     
    VRT News tested two Zafiras - with and without the update - and found the update cut emissions by more than half in one and by three-quarters in another.
     
    In their report, VRT News said dealers originally acknowledged the update was for cutting back on emissions. But later footage taken by hidden camera shows dealers aren't admitting the update is for emissions.
     
    Opel has issued a statement this week strongly denying they changing the emission levels, saying the update in question has nothing to do with adjusting emissions.
     
    Source: VRT News, Opel
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Statement on claims of VRT News, Belgium
     
    Rüsselsheim. Opel clearly rejects the claim of VRT News that Opel dealers have been modifying software in the Zafira Tourer 1.6 diesel that changes the emission behavior of these vehicles. 15-P-044, the service update mentioned, has nothing to do with changing emission levels. In addition, no other recalls to achieve better emission values have been launched in 2015. Service update 15-P-044 has been discussed with the German Type Approval Authority KBA.
     
    The testing of vehicle emissions is a very complex topic. The data provided by “Emissions Analytics” does not give us enough information on, for example, their NEDC test execution and RDE tests to understand their results fully. We also need more information on the history of the test vehicle itself. “Emissions Analytics” admit in their report that their tests might deviate from regulated tests.
     
    As highlighted many times in recent months, we reaffirm that we do not deploy any software that recognizes if the car is undergoing an exhaust emissions test. In addition, Opel announced in December that the company is voluntarily taking the next step to meet future emissions guidelines, both on CO2 and NOx. From mid-summer 2016, and in addition to the official fuel consumption and CO2 information, fuel consumption figures recorded under the WLTP (“Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure”) cycle will also be published. In addition, Opel engineers have recently started working on an initiative to implement NOx emission improvements on SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) diesel applications. This is a voluntary and early improvement towards the so-called RDE (Real Driving Emissions) legislation that goes into effect in 2017. Opel puts its focus on the customer and on ensuring clarity and transparency.

    William Maley

    The Next-Generation Opel Insignia Does Its Best Audi A7 Impression

    The next-generation Opel Insignia has been caught for the first time as it ventures out into the real world. We only tell so much from the spy shots since Opel has done a decent job of fitting a fair amount of camouflage to the vehicle. But there is one element we can pull out of the shots. It seems Opel has taken a liking to the Audi A7's styling that they are copying the distinctive roofline for the Insignia.
     
    Along with the A7 inspired roofline, Opel is adding around four inches to the overall length to better compete with the Skoda Superb - a Volkswagen Passat sized model.
     
    Now this brings up an interesting question for the U.S. market. Buick sells the Insignia as the Regal. As Autoblog reports, the next Opel Insignia will only be sold as a five-door and wagon in Europe. Now will this mean Buick will get the five-door or is Opel working a sedan variant? We can't say.
     
    Source: Autoblog

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