Opel experienced an 8-percent sales dip in Europe in the first quarter, and designers at GM plan to give the storied German brand some of its mojo back by moving design and content upscale. GM says the move upmarket will result in a relatively inexpensive one- to three-percent price hike, but in return customers can expect sexier sheet metal, better packaging and more technology. The move makes sense as GM's value-conscious Chevy brand has steadily increased its presence across the Atlantic, giving the General the opportunity to push Opel up the automotive food chain. GM's plan is already underway, too, as the gorgeous Insignia is due to hit the showroom floor before the end of the year.

The great part about GM's plan to give Opel luxury looks and more inventive interiors is that we'll continue to see better Saturn cars and CUVs here in the States. And that's saying a lot, considering Saturn already looks fresher than most brands on the market today.

[Source: Auto News (subs req'd)]

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