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Vauxhall/Opel to develop upmarket city car alone

Opel and Vauxhall are forging ahead with plans to make an upmarket city car - and it will not be built in collaboration with another manufacturer, company boss Nick Reilly has revealed to Autocar.

Reilly announced plans for an ‘aspirational’ supermini several weeks ago as part of his major restructuring plan for Opel/Vauxhall.

It was widely believed that economic conditions would force the company to look for a partner as it has with the Agila, built by Suzuki and also mechanically identical to the Splash.

However, the new Opel city car could now be built on the next generation Corsa platform, which is currently under development by GM Dat in Korea and will also underpin future small Chevrolets.

Reilly also admitted that the relationship with Suzuki is under threat, following VW taking a 20 per cent stake in the Japanese company.

He revealed that the next Agila ‘would probably be affected’ by the new arrangment, indicating that Vauxhall’s next generation budget ‘mini could also be a go-it-alone project.

Chas Hallett

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