Opel’s Outdated Platforms Can’t Keep A Strong Brand Down

Before being purchased by the PSA Group, Opel knew it was facing very serious problems. Among them, its annual operating losses of nearly 1 billion euros, but also its inability to meet EU CO2 emissions reduction targets, which would have meant massive fines.

Now, two years later, Opel is both profitable and has a clear plan on how to meet its emissions targets, said the company’s CEO Michael Lohscheller in an interview with Autonews Europe.

Still, at the end of last year, Opel’s emissions were far higher than those of PSA’s main brands, Peugeot and Citroen. We’re talking 126 g/km of CO2, as opposed to 108 g/km. Now, their target will be about 94g/km, according to analysts.

The way to get there is by purging itself of old GM architectures, as well as rolling out electric and plug-in hybrid versions of its popular models, said Lohscheller.

Also read: New Opel Corsa Unveiled In Pure Electric Form With 134 HP And 330 Km Range

“The new cars on PSA architectures deliver a massive improvement in emissions — and then we bring electrification on top”, said Lohscheller. “To be very clear: we will be compliant as of 2020.”

At the end of 2018, most of Opel’s models were still riding on GM platforms. This included the best-selling Corsa, as well as the Astra, Mokka X, Insignia, Adam and Zafira. Meanwhile, average fleet weight was 1,345 kg (2,965 lbs), as opposed to 1,204 kg (2,654 lbs) for Citroen and 1,245 kg (2,744 lbs) for Peugeot, according to ISI.

By the end of 2020, this lineup will look very different, especially with an all-new and electrified Corsa riding on PSA’s CMP architecture. Also going electric will be the Grandland X and the next Mokka X, while by 2024, Opel will have electrified versions for each one of its nameplates – whether they be hybrids or fully-electric models.

“We have changed a major part of our product portfolio,” added Lohscheller. “Our emissions were relatively high, but that is based on the former portfolio of older products.”

It’s safe to say that Opel’s turnaround has been one of the quickest ever witnessed in the automotive industry, where in a couple of years they’ve gone from potentially facing penalties for non-compliant cars, to having a bright future yet again.

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  • Six_Tymes

    that is one of the best looking small cars iv seen.

    • J. P.

      Agreed, the outgoing one looks so tacky as hell

    • Giannis Antypas

      Before PSA takeover, Opel had already sculpted the next gen Corsa.
      It would be interesting sometime in the future to see what that one looked like too.

  • J. P.

    Okay, so the next models to get a redesign are:

    Mokka X

    It’s just a theory of mine but I think Opel might make a crossover that slots under the Mokka X. What you guys think?

    • Akil Hodge


      • Androuffle

        They already have the Crossland X which is 4.21 of length. With the current Mokka X being 4.28 and Grandland X being 4.48, we can bet that the new Mokka X will be a bit longer around 4.35.

    • mist

      Mokka X production has already ended. To be replaced by the end of the year.
      Astra replaced by 2021 with a shortened lifespan.
      Current Crossland is already the small SUV under Mokka.

  • Bart

    Just one more proof that regulations work. No Tesla, no market/public pressure would force Opel to take such drastic measures; they would still happily sell heavy gas guzzlers – if they weren’t scare of heavy fines.

  • XtremWize

    It’s been a long time since the Opel Diplomat Coupe V8 with the Corvette engine was the absolute king as the fastest car on the German autobahn.



    • Cobrajet

      Peugeot could never make anything close to that.

  • designer_dick

    it’s surprising that the company’s former masters in Detroit seemed either unwilling on unable to work out that limiting discounts, fleet sales and build complexity would be the answer to Opel-Vauxhall’s ongoing financial issues, but PSA seems to have worked it out, implemented a turnaround plan, and returned the company to profitability in less than two years.

    Hopefully, the days of vast numbers of pre-registered Corsas and Astras being sold at big discounts are long gone.


  • EyalN

    Opel wasn’t really losing money. It was GM money laundry.
    The biggest income of GM is the cars they sell in china and they are all open models.

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