2010 Opel Corsa – Click above for high-res image gallery

Think of German automakers and you're likely to conjure up names like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi. Those are the ones we get on this side of the Atlantic. In their home market, they are joined, most notably, by Opel. The reason we don't get that brand in the States is because it's General Motors' European division, and GM already has plenty of brands operating in its own home market. But that hasn't always been the case, and may not be for much longer – if the latest reports prove accurate.

The German GM subsidiary marketed in the United States between 1958 and 1975. Since then, various Opel models have been sold Stateside as Buicks, Saturns and even Cadillacs. But with Saturn long gone, and the Omega-based Catera replaced by the stand-alone CTS, the only Opel product making it to these shores these days is the Buick Regal (née Opel Insignia).

Recent reports suggested once again that GM could be looking to sell off Opel, but a proposal reportedly being fielded within the GM hierarchy could see Opel returning to American shores. The idea would be to have GM fending off its import rivals with an import of its own, bringing a small hatchback to the U.S. market wearing an Opel badge and a nameplate such as Junior (let's hope not...) or Allegra (hm, let's hope not again).

Whether it would be an all-new product specifically targeted at American consumers or one based on a current model like the Corsa pictured above remains to be seen, but sources indicate that, if the proposal is taken up in Detroit, we could be seeing Opels on American roads as early as 2013.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      Jobu
      • 4 Years Ago
      Awesome concept- A GM division with a specific aim; to offset the emerging threat of foreign automakers. Let's call it something interesting, like um, Saturn. It can be a different kind of company, one that operates outside of the bureaucracy of GM.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Jobu
        [blocked]
      Master Austin
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fending off Import rivals...seems as that was the Saturn mission years ago when it first began...it worked for awhile, but then they lost their way...Havent they learned their lesson? Spend more money on a new brand?
      gary
      • 4 Years Ago
      If this happens I assure you there will be a mob of former Saturn dealers outside GM HQ with pitchforks and torches.
      Rob
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think its a bad idea to bring back a compact Opel, however I think it needs to have more than one engine available (including Diesel) and they need to make it an existing brand. Wait I have a great idea, why don't we just keep it "Opel".
      James Dehnert Sr
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just let me buy a Insignia, VXR.
      Frank Bromley
      • 4 Years Ago
      great news !!
      throwback
      • 4 Years Ago
      So they want to bring Opel back to compete with Chevy, essentially filling Saturn's old spot? GM can't help themselves, they have to compete against their own interests.
        SpikedLemon
        • 4 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Cereal box mentality. The more of "your" brands on the shelf: the more likely that an average consumer will buy one of "your" brands.
        Rob
        • 4 Years Ago
        @throwback
        This is nothing new, GM did this back in the 50's and 60's. They made every one of their brands (except Cadillac) compete with each other. If you have ever seen Chevy propaganda films from the 60's, they would always talk about how they were better than BOP (Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac). In today's world though, this would be a dumb idea.
      MotorCityGreek
      • 4 Years Ago
      It seems like a step backwards, but at the same time a step forwards. does GM really need another brand in the U.S.? Maybe, if it captures an audience that otherwise wouldn't consider Chevy, Buick or GMC. Consider perhaps Opel offering diesel engines in their cars as well as a unique product portfolio with the Zafira, Meriva, Corsa line, Astra line (that's going to be sedan, coupe, cabrio, 3/5 door hatch and wagon) and even the Insignia if GM is smart enough to further thicken the differences between that and the Regal in the years to come. Throw in the Insignia Wagon too.
      Fixitfixitstop
      • 4 Years Ago
      The biggest mistake GM made was making Saturn a separate brand as an "import fighter" instead of doing it with Chevrolet.
        SpikedLemon
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Fixitfixitstop
        They made a lot of mistakes. One was not promoting Saturn the same as the rest of their brands.. The Astra was their best kept secret. Most of Chevy's mistakes were sub-par vehicles.
          icharlie
          • 4 Years Ago
          @SpikedLemon
          The Astra was ok, but definitely not their best kept secret. It needed a lot of refinement before it could be called anything better than ok.
          autoplaybook
          • 4 Years Ago
          @SpikedLemon
          The Astra failed because it was built on the Euro at $1.40 and shipped here to compete with the mainstream compacts. So there was no profit margin in them. So GM couldn't afford to drum up demand by adding to their losses on the vehicle by advertising it. Total Catch-22. That's why I'm suspicious about this story. No way GM goes back to that model. Besides, Buick's been rebuilding their lineup with vehicles that are already rebadged/retrimmed Opels...the Regal and Verano specifically. And I'm pretty sure GM is done with the separate "import-fighter" brand idea, too. With more than 50% of the market being "import brands", I think they've realized the old idea was an abject failure and that their "4 core" brands ALL need to compete with the imports. This story is unmitigated hogwash.
      • 4 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        reattadudes
        • 4 Years Ago
        my first question is a simple one: don't you think you could have said that cutsey, sophomoric term "government motors" at least another ten times in your post? I'm disappointed! in all of your ranting, you seem to forget a few things: 1) you don't have a cutsey name for Chrysler? does it pain you greatly that Chrysler paid back all the money the Government required them to, with interest, six years early? does it bother you that Chrysler isn't just surviving, but thriving? 2) does it pain you greatly that GM did indeed survive, and will be paying back in full, all Government monies owned, with interest, six years early, in the next 30 days? ? does it bother you that GM is not just surviving, but thriving? 3) have I been sleeping under a rock since 2009? I wasn't aware that GM was asking for Government money again. 4) you act as though GM's corporate bankruptcy is some thing of mystery. it isn't. and you're right; it isn't the same company. so what's the point of this whole hateful rant? if you have a personal bankruptcy, you're not "the same person", either. so what's your point? 5) when you done with your "deficit spending" tirade (where were you when Bush was running up the deficit at record rates?), did you ever stop to consider that EVERY SINGLE country that produces automobiles (Japan, South Korea, Germany, the UK, Italy, France, Australia, Sweden, etc.) gave (did you see that word "gave"?), with no repayment requirements, billions to keep their respective automakers afloat. gave. you see, Laser, every other country looks at their domestic auto production as an intense point of pride. it's sad that this pride does not carry over to a large number of citizens of the United States. I watched in total irony as the neanderthal chants of "let 'em die" reached a fever pitch in 2009, with nary a thought by the chanting neanderthals the scope of what they were ranting. they never stopped to realize that this would be the end for their beloved Chivvy pickup they liked to take hunting. nope, that thought never crossed their teeny little minds. would they be excited at the prospects in their "free market' world to now end perhaps generations of their family tradition that always bought Chevrolet trucks, and instead buy that shiny new Tundra? I think not. and they wouldn't buy a Ford, either. in case you didn't know, all those Buick Regals that Opel built in Germany are now built in Oshawa, Ontario. that's in Canada, not Germany. even though I've been in the car business my entire life, I've never found myself in a position to second-guess what the companies should do. I've seen things I thought were long shots turn into overnight success stories, and cars I thought were sure things go down in flames. of course, my attitude comes from years of experience and wisdom, something you don't have.
        slap
        • 4 Years Ago
        Selling off Opel would be one of the *dumbest* things GM could do - most of GM's decent small car/small displacement engines are done by Opel. Opel has some nice small diesels - I drove an Opel Vectra around Spain for a few weeks 5 years ago, and with three passengers and luggage for 3 weeks I still got 41 mpg.
          bhtooefr
          • 4 Years Ago
          @slap
          Well, Opel's diesels are all done by either Fiat or VM Motori (which, now, is Fiat as well). The Ecotec gas engines are all Opel, though, IIRC. On the flip side, GM has given global small car development to Daewoo.
          lne937s
          • 4 Years Ago
          @slap
          Some Opel diesels are by Isuzu too
      Igotmine
      • 4 Years Ago
      My son who now teaches automotive mechanics at a local VoTech and who lived and worked extensively in Germany as an automotive research fellow for many years tells me that the Opel line of vehicles is mediocre at best when compared to such well-engineered vehicles like Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and Audi. Sales of the Opel line on average are only marginal which is what brought Opel to this juncture in the first place --- overcapacity, underutilization due to lack of sales. GM already imports vehicles from South Korea, Mexico and Canada and throwing in yet another brand or iteration built at some undisclosed location in Europe is only going to confuse even more former GM customers, many who already defected to foreign brands made in America, by Americans, for Americans (like Hyundai/Kia or Subaru).
        Redline
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Igotmine
        I wouldn't compare Opel with Mercedes, BMW or Audi, not at all with Porsche (?!?!). Opel competes directly with VW. Corsa vs Polo; Astra vs Golf, Insignia vs Passat.
      WilderBill
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't drive an Opel on the Autobahn you will get run over by the other traffic that can keep up the speed.
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