As part of its European revival plans Vauxhall will look to rival the Dacia Sandero and Duster models with its own entry-level hatchback and small SUV

Vauxhall boss Karl-Thomas Neumann has confirmed the company is planning a new line of entry-level vehicles to rival the likes of Dacia.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Neumann said the budget sector was "very interesting," and confirmed the brand was "definitely looking at the segment."

The plan involves bringing in two new low-cost models to plug the gap left by Chevrolet, which will be axed from the European market next year.

One of the cars has already been spotted testing, and is likely to be badged as Viva when it makes its debut at the Geneva motor show in March next year.

Sitting alongside the Adam and below the new Corsa in size, the car is based on the next-generation Chevrolet Spark, but likely won't be priced to compete with the £5995 Dacia Sandero. Instead, Vauxhall is understood to be pitching the new model towards the Ford Ka, which costs from £8945.

"We think there is possibility for Opel to come up with some entry-level product, specifically now Chevrolet is out of the market," said Neumann. "We had Chevrolet, which looked like a budget brand, but it was not."

Neumann also confirmed that GM is eyeing up a compact crossover to sit alongside the new Viva in its budget line-up. That model is likely to be pitched against the Dacia Duster, and could well form the basis of a replacement for the current Meriva MPV

In the first six months of this year, Dacia's sales in Europe have risen by more than 36 per cent, to 192,876 units, with 37,802 cars sold in June alone. GM's sales – incorporating the Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet brands – are down by 0.5 per cent in the first half of 2014, selling a total of 497,143 cars.

Neumann has previously stated that with Chevrolet's departure from Europe, "all the burden" will now be on Opel and Vauxhall to perform: "GM can only be successful as a leading car maker in the world if we have a strong stake in Europe, so we can't give up."

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Comments
16

23 July 2014
GM really havent got a clue.

23 July 2014
The headline reads "Vauxhall boss confirms low-cost Dacia rivals in development", then the article goes on to say that the new car "likely won't be priced to compete with the £5995 Sandero". So what's the real story here? Vauxhall confirms development of a new city car priced to compete with the Ford Ka, Hyundai i10 etc. The fact they can develop a new 'budget' range but at the same time replace one of it's best selling cars with the abomination that is the 'new' Corsa, makes me chuckle!

Him

23 July 2014
Karl-Thomas Neumann ‏has just tweeted:

@KT_Neumann
By the way: @Opel will not move into the low-budget segment. We leave this place to others!

We're planning a new entry level model! No budget car, but a real @Opel (quality, innovation, German engineering)!

29 July 2014
Him wrote:

Karl-Thomas Neumann ‏has just tweeted:

@KT_Neumann
By the way: @Opel will not move into the low-budget segment. We leave this place to others!

We're planning a new entry level model! No budget car, but a real @Opel (quality, innovation, German engineering)!

Repeated for emphasis !!

23 July 2014
Perhaps they could recycle old platforms, or even entire monocoques, to keep development costs down? Oh, hang on a minute....

23 July 2014
Take your pick: GM boss confirms low-cost Dacia rival in development, or GM boss denies that he said any such thing. Man and magazine in perfect disharmony.

23 July 2014
And isn't the Adam just a shorter, cheaper Corsa? What Vauxhall needs is a premium brand like Saab to compete at a higher level with the other German brands. Oh wait a minute...

23 July 2014
The humble Dacia - as it moves from strength to strength - teaches rival brands - from GM to VW - a precious lesson - Keep it real!

23 July 2014
Keep it simple and honest.

The Chevrolet Europe experiment didn't work so we're trying to work as many as possible of the Chevrolet models into the Vauxhall/Opel range. The Spark replaces the Agila, which was unnecessarily bought in from Suzuki.

Already done with Mokka, Ampera and Antara and, arguably, Astra.

That done, the myth is that they're all up to Buick perceived image standard, just below Cadillac.

23 July 2014
"We think there is possibility for Opel to come up with some entry-level product, specifically now Chevrolet is out of the market," said Neumann. "We had Chevrolet, which looked like a budget brand, but it was not."

Is this real? Can't believe someone has actually said this. The total irony of this all is that GM had GEO in North America, a budget offshoot of Chevrolet, which specialised in small cars. THIS is what GM needs in Europe. A Geo for £5,995 makes sense, but a Vauxhall badged disguised Spark for £9k, when you could buy some of the remaining Chevrolet stock for £5.5k... it is all borderline City Rover madness. All of this (along with the travest y of the new Corsa and ADAM, and the hairbrained strategy with the Zafira) will only devalue the credibility of Vauxhall further and put the remaining Vauxhall factory jobs in the UK and the rest of Europe at risk. It is as if they want to kill Vauxhall and Opel and solely focus on importing Chinese built Buicks and Cadillacs...The worrying reality is that in terms of £s for metal, the Agila is Vauxhall's best car, and it was launched in 2008, and it is really a Suzuki.

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