GM adds a budget city car to its plans to build a premium Mini rival

General Motors is developing not one but two new small cars that will join the Corsa in the Vauxhall/Opel line-up by the middle of this decade.

The Mini-rivalling premium hatch, internally labelled ‘fun and fashion’, will be joined by a budget-priced city car based on an entirely different platform.

The premium hatch, and the next Corsa, are being designed and engineered in Korea, GM DAT boss Mike Arcamone told Autocar. Korea is also where GM will source a cost-effective platform for the city car.

Read more on Opel's premium city car

Arcamone admitted that the new Mini rival was being almost completely engineered in Asia, with only a small amount of input from Opel’s German engineering base in Rüsselsheim. Work on the new Corsa is also at an advanced stage. However, design boss Taewon Kim told Autocar that final styling for the new Mini rival, which will go on sale in 2013, has not yet been signed off.

Although Korea is undertaking the bulk of the design and engineering, it’s expected that the upmarket supermini will be manufactured in Europe. The new Corsa could still be made in Korea, although the decision has yet to be made, Arcamone admitted.

He also confirmed that the Chevrolet Volt could be produced in Korea. “I think we’ve underestimated how many Volts we can sell,” he said.

A more likely scenario, though, is that Korea will become a centre for pure electric vehicles. GM DAT is just beginning a trial for EV Cruze and Lacetti saloons. If successful, it could spawn full production for either of them.

Chas Hallett/Richard Bremner

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8 November 2010

This is conflicting with the announcement made by Nick Reilly months ago. He said that the engineering and development work of the next Corsa will be transferred to Russelsheim and all future Opel cars will be engineered and developed in Europe.

Which is true and who should we Opel fans believe in ?

8 November 2010

premium hatch designed in korea, good luck with that

8 November 2010

[quote feckin maso]premium hatch designed in korea[/quote]

Nothing wrong with that - that a gallon of 5 star and a box of matches couldn't fix!

8 November 2010

[quote feckin maso]premium hatch designed in korea, good luck with that[/quote][quote ischiaragazzo]Nothing wrong with that - that a gallon of 5 star and a box of matches couldn't fix![/quote] Xenophobes: I thought they were killed off in 1945? Obviously they re-based in the UK. Afraid of the future and living in the past, familiar story with your country.

8 November 2010

[quote ischiaragazzo]

[quote feckin maso]premium hatch designed in korea[/quote]

Nothing wrong with that - that a gallon of 5 star and a box of matches couldn't fix![/quote]

Over the last decade, GM has been significantly strengthening their SE Asian (ie - Daewoo) resources. Many of the guys now working there are ex-Holden and ex-Opel, and are doing a lot of good work which has yet to hit the spotlight. Make stupid statements at your peril, because GM is more likely to fund R&D in Korea than in Germany or the UK...

8 November 2010

Presumably, then, the next Corsa is not going to be a joint platform venture with Fiat, as is the case now. I wonder how successful, or otherwise, that collaboration has been?

8 November 2010

Why is it such a xenophobic statement, ok Kia and Hyundai are coming on great but the whole point of a prestige hatch to compete with the DS3,Mini,500 et al is the image. Currently the image of Korean cars is improving but still perceived as budget brands. If GM believe that their Korean operation is better placed to deliver a prestige competitor than their european operations they may be correct but from a consumer perspective a prestige car is more likely to have a german rather than korean origin

8 November 2010

I presume that GM Europe have decided that this market is likely to be the busiest over the next few years and they need to have two distinct models in it. Whether they can sell both these cars in big numbers without one car getting in the way of the other I would doubt and there is also the fact that the profit margins on these cars are not very high.

8 November 2010

well done GM you are only about 20 years late into this market

better late than never hey!

8 November 2010

[quote The Special One] Xenophobes: I thought they were killed off in 1945? Obviously they re-based in the UK. [/quote]

I am in Italy...

And have you driven a Korean car lately? The Hyundai i45 that I drove recently was in my opinion borderline dangerous. It had the roadholding of a Nissan Sunny and that is probably being unkind to the Datsun. To me it's taken them an awful long time to make anything half way decent and I will admit that there a couple that are OK. But will they ever be desirable? Probably not. Everyone is a badge snob at heart. Admint it. Faced with the prospect of say a Jag and a Hyundai - both same spec, quality and price. Are you going to take the Hyundai? Thought not...


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