Opel has announced its intention to launch a new generation Astra over the next couple of years. The compact model will enter production in 2021 and will be built in Russelsheim, Germany.
Based on PSA’s EMP2 platform, already used by a multitude of models from Peugeot and Citroen, as well as the Grandland X, the Astra L will also get an electrified version. The automaker didn’t say anything else about it yet, except that it will be “a strong contributor to Opel brand electrification”.
The decision to build it in Russelsheim, which is where the second-gen Insignia is also being assembled, has been taken in accordance with the PACE! plan, and in agreement with the works council and the IG Metall. As a result, the PSA Group, which is Opel’s parent company, will invest in the facility in order to prep it for the production of the next-gen Astra.
“This is an important step forward for the Russelsheim plant”, said the brand’s CEO, Michael Lohscheller. “This investment will allow work in two shifts and secure the sustainable future of the Russelsheim plant.”
Aside from the cash injection, the mutual agreement allows employees born in and before 1963 to participate in a partial retirement program. Furthermore, 120 apprentices will be hired in the plant annually in the coming years.
“This result shows the determination of all involved stakeholders to come to an outcome that works for all parties”, added Lohscheller. “Russelsheim will continue to play an important role in the industrial footprint of Groupe PSA.”
The outgoing Astra has been around since 2015 and won the 2016 Car of the Year award. The company’s Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane and Ford Focus rival is being put together in Gliwice, Poland, and in Ellesmere Port, UK, by Vauxhall – which, depending on the outcome of the Brexit, may or may not continue to manufacture RHD examples.