GM is studying a plan that would see the next generation Zafira be conceived and developed by PSA
10 May 2012

General Motors is planning a far more radical shake up of its European operations than previously expected, according to a report published today by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

Quoting informed sources at Vauxhall sister company Opel, Der Spiegel says senior General Motors managers in North America have reached a decision to shift production of the Astra from Opel’s main Russelsheim plant in Germany to both its Polish-based Gelwice factory and Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port operations in the UK.

The report has angered Opel worker’s union representatives who suggest production of the Astra costs 220 euro more at Ellesmere Port than in Russelsheim. The loss of the Astra would leave Russelsheim with the production of just one model, the Insignia. Job cuts of up to 200 are mooted for Opel’s development centre in Russelsheim.

More significant is the news that General Motors is close to announcing the closure of Opel’s Bochum plant, which currently produces the Zafira and Astra.

Der Spiegel has also reported that General Motors is studying a plan that would see the next generation Zafira be conceived and developed by PSA (Peugeot Citroen), with which it holds a seven per cent shareholding.

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Vauxhall Zafira
Vauxhall's Zafira has been a trend-setter since 1999, but has never been trendy

The Vauxhall Zafira seven-seat MPV is versatile and well made but is now showing its age

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Comments
16

10 May 2012

Peugeot 808 to be a Vauxhall?

Makes business sense, they had previously tied up with Fiat to make their MPVs.

Fiat are now too busy rebadging Voyagers for the EU continental market.

10 May 2012

I suppose all the people who posted about the imminent closure of Ellesmere Port will be keeping their heads down if this proves true.

Maybe they should be looking for different 'High level sources'.

Good luck Ellesmere!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

10 May 2012

Maybe if Opel/Vauxhall is too much of a problem for GM to cope with long-term (and they want to get Opel/Vauxhall away from being a competitor for Chevrolet in Europe), a tie-up with PSA to move certain models up-market makes sense for both companies. GM would get to loose some of their less profitable/too-expensive-labour plants and PSA get to fill some under-utilised production lines, and PSA are more successful at producing a luxury feel to a car that GM ever have been. Long term, a new group of PSA-Opel could be one of the surviving car producers of Europe.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

10 May 2012

Day by day I am starting to understand less what GM want to do with Vauxhall / Opel?

Look at the current Vauxhall / Opel range.

- Commercial Vehicles - New Combo (rebadged Fiat Doblo), Vivaro and Movano (rebadged Renault's)

- Diesel Engines - 1.3 and 1.9 / 2.0 (Fiat Designed)

- Agila (Rebadged Suzuki)

- Mokka, Antara, Ampera - Rebadged Chevrolet's (more understandable)

Which all leaves just, Corsa, Astra, Zafira and Insignia models designed and produced by Vauxhall / Opel.

Now they want to take the Zafira out of the mix as well, it is going to leave them with just three models (well four if you include the Adam)?

I see the business sense in parts sharing but for them to have this many external influences, from so many different sources, I can't see being a good thing. Vauxhall / Opel is loosing it's identity rapidly, where companies like VAG just seem to be growing theirs. There seems to be no clear strategy and may be this is why they are in trouble.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 May 2012

[quote TegTypeR]

- Diesel Engines - 1.3 and 1.9 / 2.0 (Fiat Designed)

[/quote]

You forgot the 1.7, although that is soon to be dropped apparently, even though it performs very well in 130bhp form. And the 1.3 is technically a 1.2, and it annoys me that every car that uses it - not just Vauxhalls - refers to it as a 1.3.

10 May 2012

[quote Fidji]You forgot the 1.7, although that is soon to be dropped apparently[/quote]

I always thought that was derived from the old Isuzu designed lump?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 May 2012

[quote TegTypeR]I see the business sense in parts sharing but for them to have this many external influences, from so many different sources, I can't see being a good thing[/quote]

Valid point. It has worked so far for PSA, only because PSA is sub-scale and needs alliances to survive. You'd think that GM would leverage its global scale to achieve cost efficiencies.

Think of the PSA network of alliances:

Engines: 1.4-1.6 with BMW-Mini
V6 with Renault
4-pot Diesel with Ford
6-pot Diesel with JLR

Commercial vehicles:
Ducato with Fiat
Scudo with Fiat
Fiorino with Fiat

Cars:
(formerly) Ulysse with Fiat
Aygo with Toyota
MiEV with Mitsubishi
ASX with Mitsubishi
Outlander with Mitsubishi

10 May 2012

[quote TegTypeR]

[quote Fidji]You forgot the 1.7, although that is soon to be dropped apparently[/quote]

I always thought that was derived from the old Isuzu designed lump?

[/quote]

Perhaps it was then! I can't say I know! I just assumed it was a Vauxhall engine because it's used in Vauxhalls.

10 May 2012

[quote Fidji]

[quote Fidji]You forgot the 1.7, although that is soon to be dropped apparently[/quote]

I always thought that was derived from the old Isuzu designed lump?

[/quote]It used to be; it has been replaced by a shrunk-down Fiat 1.9, of the same capacity of the old Isuzu one. Basically GM's equivalent to what Fiat has done by creating the 1.6 as a shrunk down version of the same 1.9. When GM got the licence to buy (and later build) the Family B Diesel it was still only available as a 1.9; the 2.0, 1.6 (Fiat) and 1.7 (GM) versions have all been developed afterwards.

At one point I had assumed GM would replace the Fiat-derived Family B engine with the GM-Daewoo unit (as found in the Captiva), itself a heavily reworked VM design, which is considered by many (including Autocar) to be superior to the Fiat. It does not seem to have happened.

10 May 2012

I can't think of any reason to buy a Vauxhall badged Citroen to be honest. The mix of brands doesn't work. If it's the same car might as well have the more interesting Citroen badge.

Same issue with the Fiat 500/Ford Ka. Might as well have the Fiat 'cause it's more characterful.

There is no earthly reason why GM couldn't do what VW do - profitably spin off multiple brands from a small number of platforms. The argument that GM have weaker brands doesn't even wash - VW managed to make Skoda desirable...

One has to conclude that GM are simply incompetent.

Saab could have worked. Cadillac definitely is underused and could be cool. Even Chevrolet could be interesting instead of being a seemingly deliberately uglified budget brand. Vauxhall/Opel is a tricky one though. Probably just too boring a brand. The cars themselves are actually quite good, but is anyone really interested?

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