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.
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