Speaking at a press conference in Eisenach on Thursday, Opel/Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly revealed plans to build an all-new small car below the Corsa, with production set to start in 2013 at the firm's Eisenach plant in the east German state of Thuringia. "This new product will be an important element in our growth strategy" said Reilly.
The car is expected to go up against Ford's Fiat 500-based Ka and the forthcoming Volkswagen Up mini. According to an official statement from Opel, the as of yet unnamed city car will be geared towards customers who need "a small-sized fuel-efficient car in urban areas, but who do not want to compromise on technology, design or convenience".
The company added that the mini may also form the base for an all-electric, battery-powered version at a later stage.
GM's European unit said it will invest €90 million (approximately US$120 million) to manufacturer the small car on an existing production line alongside the Corsa at its Eisenach factory. According to the automaker, the decision to build the small car in Eisenach also benefits the Opel/Vauxhall's manufacturing plant in Zaragoza, Spain as it will receive additional Corsa production volume.
In addition to the announcement on Opel's future small car, Reilly also confirmed the automaker's plans to introduce a sporty coupe and small SUV to the firm's vehicle lineup.
"Along with other new vehicles, such as the upcoming electric Ampera [see here], a sporty coupe and a small SUV, we will significantly expand our product lineup in the future and offer customer choices in several more segments," said Reilly without getting into specifics.