GM CEO Mary Barra has announced that Opel will build a flagship SUV model at its headquarters in Rüsselsheim by the end of the decade. During her second visit to Germany this year, Barra also promised new investments for Opel’s plants in Kaiserslautern and Tychy (Poland).
“This SUV will be the brand’s second flagship alongside the Insignia,” Barra said. As announced in March, €245 million will be invested in Opel’s Rüsselsheim plant to meet future requirements. Barra didn’t offer additional details about the SUV, but previous reports said Opel was planning a large SUV known internally as the Monza.
We don’t know whether Opel’s new flagship SUV has anything to do with the automaker’s announcement from earlier this year that it would build a model for Buick in Germany in the second half of the decade. However, exporting the Opel SUV to the United States as a Buick doesn’t sound out of place.
Besides the SUV, Barra promised additional investments of more than half a billion euro in the engine and transmission plants in Rüsselsheim, Kaiserslautern and Tychy (Poland) in order to help Opel produce fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.
“Opel is of high strategic importance for GM. The product offensive with 27 new models and 17 new engines has enjoyed a very successful start. These additional investments will help the brand shine again and further strengthen our position in Europe. They are a clear sign of GM’s commitment to Opel, to Germany and to Europe,” said Barra.
Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann also announced that a third shift will be established at the Eisenach plant as of mid 2015. “This is good news for Eisenach as we are enjoying strong demand for the Adam and the new Corsa,” the executive said. Mary Barra said she was delighted with the 45,000 orders Opel received for the new Corsa before the car’s official market launch.