Category Archives: Opel

GM Announces Sale of Opel/Vauxhall To PSA

Confirming long suspected rumors and speculation that such a deal was indeed in the works, GM officially revealed that it has sold both Opel and its British cousin Vauxhall to PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) ahead of the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The €2.2 billion sale marks the end of an era for GM, with the automaker completly leaving the European market after a decades long presence. While both Vauxhall and Opel had considerable history in the British and German markets respectively, they also transformed into a colossal money pit for GM in recent years, with both brands not being able to make a profit in the last sixteen years.

This is despite the shuttering of Chevrolet’s European sales division two years ago, which was supposed to give new life to lagging Opel sales, but ultimately failed to achieve the turnaround GM wanted.

GM revealed that it will still be involved with Opel via its rights to purchase warrants of PSA shares, which could resolve some issues regarding the use of GM technologies in the current lineup of Opel/Vauxhall models.

As for PSA, the French auto giant believes that it can return Opel to profitability by 2020 thanks to slashes in research and development costs, as well as the sharing of platforms and technologies across their portfolio of brands.

PSA CEO Carlos Tavarres, the man who helped Peugeot and Citroen rise from the brink of collapse a few years ago, is confident that he could pull the same feat for struggling Opel and its British sibling Vauxhall.

“We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while still respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees.” stated Tavarres in an online statement.

The U.S. market will feel some of the ripple effect from this action, since many of Buick’s product offerings like the Cascada and Encore trace their roots to Opel based products. GM revealed that PSA will continue to honor existing supply agreements with Buick and Australia-based Holden, but it could throw a sizable monkey wrench into plans for their next gen replacements, especially those currently on the drawing board.

That said, the next generation Buick Regal could provide an opprotunity for PSA to expand its reach into the U.S. market where its main Peugeot and Citroen brands still have a poor reputation among buyers, versus the more favorable history associated with Buick.

Finally, the deal was preceded by several minor collaboration efforts that took place back in 2012 when GM bought a seven percent stake in PSA. Several Peugeot-Citroen models are already built by Opel and vice versa, with the upcoming Citroen C3 Picasso sharing its components with the Geneva bound Opel Crossland X.

Buick Puts The Brakes On U.S. Spec Adam Model

When upcoming Buick boss Duncan Aldred first arrived at Buick a year ago, he suggested that the Opel Adam “would make a great Buick” and even hinted that he was fast tracking a U.S. launch for the tiny compact. However according to a new report, Buick has changed its tune, and scrapped plans for the Adams rumored U.S. debut.

The main culprit behind this shift in direction is the sales of mini cars as a whole, with the segment taking a pounding due to low gas prices and the wild popularity of crossover vehicles. Fiat sales for example went down by nearly 15 percent during the first few months of 2016 with MINI sales skidding 12 percent when compared to last year. If it were approved, the Adam would’ve given Buick an entry to compete against the forementioned models while also helping the brand reach city dwelling millenials that strive to have a car that could easily make its way through narrow city streets.

Aldred also revealed that he is satisfied with Buick’s current lineup, and sees no need to add the Adam into the fold according to a statement made to the folks at Automotive News.

“I very much did feel when I came over that [an Adam for the U.S.] could really help accelerate the Buick brand story” he stated. “Whether the market shifted or the fashion nature of these cars has changed I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be looking for a small B-segment car today.”

By the end of the year Buick hopes to have several new models in dealer showrooms including three sedans, three crossovers as well as a convertible. The brand’s sales in 2015 were down by 2.6 percent, but sales this year have bridged the gap and rose by 20 percent with momentum not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Opel Unveils 150 Horsepower Adam Rocks S

With the recent updates that FCA has made to the Adam’s chief rival the Fiat 500 hatchback, General Motors has unveiled the all new Adam Rocks S which arrives with several updates of its own, and brings more horsepower and style to the Adam driving experience.

A key update is more power with the Rocks S boasting an all new 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which is good for a healthy 150 horsepower and an equally stout 162 lb-ft of torque. These figures are not only more powerful than the 500 Turbo, but they are Opel-ADAM-ROCKS-S-295230also within earshot of the 160 horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth which should make drag races between the two a compelling proposition. The spirited little engine is hooked up to an all new six speed manual transmission which is enough to propel the Rocks S to 62 mph in an acceptable 8.5 seconds before topping out at 130 mph. This is a second and a half faster than the standard Rocks model and should make the S a compelling offer for enthusiasts looking for fun on a budget.

Opel engineers also sharpened the S’s handling behavior and have equipped the tiny hatchback with a sport tuned suspension that reduces body roll and eOpel-ADAM-ROCKS-S-295215nhances turn in behavior. Stopping power for the tiny Opel has also been upgraded with beefier brakes which are nestled at all four corners and should allow drivers to safely stop from a wide range of vehicle speeds. As a neat bonus the S stands out from its base Rocks sibling by offering drivers a specially tweaked ESP program which can be turned completely off for computer free driving fun.

The exterior styling of the Rocks S on the other hand features several minor revisions and include a deep rear bumper with an oval exhaust outlet as well as a big roof mounted spoiler borrowed from the standard S model.  Buyers can also choose to adorn their purchase with 11 different exterior colors while the power retractable soft top can be adorned with five different contrast colors. Otherwise look for the S to retain much of the basic styling theme that has come to define the base Rocks model.

Look for the 2015 Opel Adam Rocks S to make its official debut next week at the International Amsterdam Motor Show before eventually making its way across Europe to Opel-ADAM-ROCKS-S-295219Opel showrooms in the near future. Opel did not reveal how much of a markup the S would be versus a standard Rocks model but expect that figure to be more of a subtle increase versus a major price hike. It is also unknown whether the Adam will ever see duty in U.S. Buick showrooms but look for that to eventually happen when the updated Adam is formally unveiled in the near future.