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Detroit might build Opel Zafira for European market

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Detroit might build Opel Zafira for European market

Automotive News Europe

November 5, 2007 -- 13:51 CET

General Motors might build the next generation of the Opel Zafira in the US and export it to Europe.

"Exporting this model to Europe has not been ruled out," Klaus Franz, the head of Opel's workers’ council, said to Automotive News Europe’s sister publication Automobilwoche.

At the moment, GM plans to build a Chevrolet minivan that is only marginally different from the Zafira in Detroit beginning in the second quarter of 2009. There is also a Saturn model, based on the Zafira platform code-named Global Delta MPV7, in planning.

The continued weakness of the US dollar makes producing the Zafira in the US attractive.

"At the moment, it's still an unlikely scenario, but the pressure on the European factories is growing," Franz said.

The Zafira is currently produced in Bochum, Germany, and Gliwice, Poland. GM also exports a variation of the Opel Astra to the US for sale as a Saturn. needed to offer a fuel-efficient model in the US quickly despite the exchange rate.

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Umm, yes, for a certain value of "marginally different". It will be exported to markets currently selling the Chevrolet Zafira and Tacuma/Rezzo/Vivant MPVs.

Okay, the article isn't very clear (they never are). It had me thinking of a Chevy version for the U.S. So it will be a Chevy van for export but maybe not for Europe. Nice to see vehicles going the other way for a change. Maybe with the new labor agreement some good can come from the weak U.S. dollar.

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