General Motors has declared that Opel needs a minicar, a tiny little thing that can compete with runabouts like the Ford Ka and Peugeot 107. That's a fine sentiment here at the starting line, but to get to the finish GM will need to keep Opel running smoothly, get its Spark firing quickly (if indeed it aims to use that as an Opel), and lure some eyeballs away from the two dozen minicars currently in the segment and the ones on the way from the likes of Volkswagen and Toyota.

Opel showed off the Trixx Concept (pictured) five years ago, but it was left out back to die in favor of the Spark. Five years on, the Spark hasn't arrived, meanwhile the Ford Ka has solidified its position with 500,000 sales in the UK alone over the last 13 years, the equally cheap and cuter-than-kittens Fiat 500 is still winning awards and stealing hearts and the VW Up! is banging drums.

When Magna was going to purchase Opel it said it would have a minicar for the brand by 2012. GM gave no timeline for its arrival, but did say that it was also looking at battery-powered electric cars -- possibly an electric Spark with the help of Reva? Whatever it is -- as long as it's good -- it can't come too soon.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]