Currently reading: Reilly: 'Opel needs a mini'
New Opel/Vauxhall boss makes getting a new city car is top priority

New Opel/Vauxhall president Nick Reilly has made developing a new city car his top priority.

The smallest car in Opel’s range at present is the Agila, which shares its platform with the Suzuki Splash and is built at Suzuki’s Hungarian facility. Suzuki has long been linked to partial takeover by Volkswagen, though, in a move which would scupper any deal Opel has in place with the Japanese firm.

Reilly is therefore keen to press on with plans to develop a city car unique to Opel, to compete in a segment he describes as vital as the downsizing trend continues across Europe.

“I see gaps [in our range] which need to be filled,” Reilly told reporters in a conference call. “Opel needs a mini; that will be our top priority.”

Reilly also committed himself to developing hybrid vehicles and named Ellesmere Port as a leading contender for European production of the Chevrolet Volt-based Ampera.

“We can takes advantage of global technology and look at introducing hybrids,” he said. “Ampera will be manufactured in Europe. Initially it will be imported from the US, but in the long term, we are looking for a local source.

“Ellesmere Port is one of the candidates, but there are others. Also, we will look at battery technology. Electric vehicles will increase the focus on that.”

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Car review

Price and performance apart, the Vauxhall Agila is an ideal city car, but can't be considered in isolation when rivals make a more convincing argument

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evanstim 7 December 2009

Re: Reilly: 'Opel needs a mini'

Out of interest, how much GM-DNA is in the Agila? I mean, doesn't it have the 3-cylinder 'family-0' engine among other GM bits?

But it is a true statement - GM do need a light city car, a la Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 106/Citroen C1/Ford Ka etc

It can't be that hard: instil some funky-but-not-challenging styling, get the safety kit right, give it some reliable and economical petrol and diesel engines, offer a hybrid version, and get it built cheaply somewhere in Eastern Europe.

But please God, make it pretty - nothing like the recent efforts from Daewoo/Chevrolet.

coolboy 7 December 2009

Re: Reilly: 'Opel needs a mini'


these guys, at least 15 years ago were working on... something, at least they claimed that a kind of Mr. Lopez stealed plans when moved to the Volks folks...

still, GM politics included, they still now out of the sea with their boats in dry land...

GM in their best!

oh GM, how we all need you soo much, Saab's rebadged from Subaru, nonsenses like the above mentined, and now, it seems that Mr Lopez, Chapter II will come again, with the VW "takeover" Suzuki.

what did you learned in the meantime?

Straff 7 December 2009

Re: Reilly: 'Opel needs a mini'

Great idea! Unfortunately, to achieve an NCAP rating it would have to be 20 foot long, 8 foot wide and weigh three tonnes.