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Opel will build a new Agila, says sales chief Visser

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Opel will build a new Agila, says sales chief Visser

Staff report

General Motors Europe is set to build a new Agila small minivan but without current partner Suzuki, said Opel’s head of sales and marketing Alain Visser.

“Suzuki has different plans now. We have an existing contract with Suzuki that will expire pretty soon and we will continue to work with Suzuki on the current Agila,” Visser said in an interview at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show.

“We do believe that on top of the three- and five-door Corsa, on top of the minicar, there is room for a future Agila. And we are now looking how that new Agila can be engineered and developed, giving the new assumptions from Suzuki.

“So we have not dropped the future Agila in our future product plan,” he added.

Visser gave no further details on the new car or its launch date, but the current Agila model is set to be replaced by 2012 at the latest.

Mark Adams, Opel’s vice-president for design, said a new Agila would not cannibalize its other offerings in the small car segment.

“I think you can see the whole small-car market is growing. It’s a significant area of growth within the industry,” Adams said.

Visser added: “You will have a modern, sporty three-door Corsa, you have a more family oriented five- door Corsa, you have a fashion mini(car), a practical low-priced city car Agila. That’s the kind of portfolio we are looking at.”

The current Agila is built at the Suzuki factory in Esztergom, Hungary, on the Chevrolet Matiz platform. Sales increased nearly 24 percent to 59,603 units in Europe last year, according to data from JATO Dynamics.

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