General Motors CEO Dan Akerson plans to invade Europe, and he's bringing Chevrolet with him. Sure, the Bowtie brand has been available across the pond since 2005, but its cars aren't exactly selling in droves. The head of GM has big plans for his European automotive umbrella, which means changes are coming.
General Motors will begin producing Euro-market Chevrolet vehicles in Europe. This isn't happening tomorrow, but it will need to happen in the near future and Akerson knows it. This move will help reduce product shipping costs, boost European assembly plant activity and allow GM to gain ground with the Chevrolet brand in Europe.

In addition to the production change, GM will begin pushing Opel further upmarket. Opel will be positioned as a more premium brand, ideally go head-to-head with Volkswagen, while Chevrolet will become the entry-level brand for General Motors Europe.


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  • 41 Comments
      Rampant
      • 3 Years Ago
      Opel should get back into rallying perhaps with the Corsa OPC.
      Emil
      • 3 Years Ago
      I guess the Regal was the beginning; we'll see more Opel=Buick in future.
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      "In addition to the production change, GM will begin pushing Opel further upmarket. Opel will be positioned as a more premium brand, ideally go head-to-head with Volkswagen, while Chevrolet will become the entry-level brand for General Motors Europe." - Autoblog Autoblog, Opel/Vauxhall is already a head-on mainstream competitor with Volkswagen in Europe. Chevrolet, on the other hand, is more of a budget brand often associated with the likes of Kia, Hyundai and Proton, the closest European competitor being Skoda.
      Mike K
      • 3 Years Ago
      First off, VW isn't a premium brand, it's just not a budget brand like Chevy. Anyone who thinks VW is a premium brand in Europe is terribly mistaken. Second, I'm so happy Europeans will now have to deal with terrible Chevy products just like America does. Good luck!!
        Adrian
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike K
        Yeah, because the Cruze, Equinox, and Traverse aren't amongst the class leaders in interior quality, build quality, and overall satisfaction. Oh, wait, they are? My mistake. You can bash GM and other domestic brands blindly if you want, but it's a dated accusation to say they aren't putting up some great new products. In fact, I'd state that Toyota and Honda are the ones resting on their laurels and building some new models that are worse than the old ones.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          The Traverse has some of the worst interior quality in its class. The Cruze and Equinox thougjh are really nice.
        kontroll
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike K
        you are also terribly mistaken... VW is more of budget brand than a fricking hyundai.
        Emil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike K
        VW seems to be a budget brand in the future; just look at Jetta, Passat!
      benzaholic
      • 3 Years Ago
      I could see trying to make sure Opels aren't bottom-dwellers so they can be sold to Americans as Buicks, but it may actually reduce GM's ability to bring low volume models to the US. If they take Opel upmarket, costs should increase. Add in exchange rates and transportation, and bean counters will simply choose not to bring low volume items to the US. I instead think it's another step in GM's real plan for Europe, which is to unload Opel like they tried a couple of times already. If the Chevy brand and network are in place... Hmm. Another consideration is that GM tends to throw Chevy badging on a lot of their Asian-made units for Europe, like the GM Daewoo stuff. Will they continue that approach, or do they think they will have enough compelling product choices to fill two showrooms? Good luck with that.
      JayH
      • 3 Years Ago
      hmm why is volkswagen considered an upscale brand? isn't that why they have audi?
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Since when is VW considered an "upmarket" brand? They are about as mass-market as you can get, and actually heading DOWN market with their latest offerings. Chevy would be the one going after VW, while Opel/Buick would be the one going after Audi.
      unywwvpc
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here is the great strategy for GM. 1. Sell redesigned Buick model under Opel brand name in Europe. 2. slightly improve opel brand image 3. sell opel brand to hyundai or chinese makers by high price. (Hyundai probably want established euro-premium brand in europe, because lexus failure in europe. They want sell Genesis and Equus under euro-premium brand.)
      unywwvpc
      • 3 Years Ago
      head-to-head with Volkswagen, is not a good idea. Make Opel as european Buick.
      Dennis Baskov
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does that mean that Opel is going to be available in US by any chance?
      Matt Frawley
      • 3 Years Ago
      RIP OPEL ,,,
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      This would be my brand setup if I ran GM: Chevy should be positioned against third world brands in Europe and worldwide, like Perodua and Proton, Indian and Chinese brands if they come to Europe. In America it should be a "value brand" comparible to Hyundai. Worldwide brand. Opel would be priced upmarket from most brands, but not to the level of Audi/BMW. It should have cheap cars like the Corsa/ Astra, but they should also bring back the upmarket Opels as well, like the Kapitan, Commodore, etc etc. Should be sold in EU only. Buick should sell mostly rebadged Opels, but should also produce its own cars. Every single model should contain the Eassist system and AWD. Should be a "quirky" brand like Saab or Subaru. Priced lower than Acura. Sold in America and China. Pontiac should be brought back as a niche, RWD sport brand. It would fork over the younger buyers. Kind of like GM's Scion. Sold in North America only. Cadillac should be a sporty luxury brand, a BMW competitor. Sold worldwide.
        Emil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        I believe GM should also think about their SUV/CUVs as it's the only type which is offered under all brands; Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac (and we had Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Saab too!) and you're not sure what is what sometimes.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Emil
          Easy solution: Chevy: The cars should be tech oriented and should also have tons of "convenience features". As for the SUV's I'd do a Sonic based Juke competitor with the choice of the 1.4 turbo or the 2.5 DI. The Equinox is good as it is, although I'd give it the 2.5 DI and replace the 3.0 with the 2.0 turbo DI w/ around 270 hp/290 torque. I'd make the next Traverse on the extended Eplison underpinnings, and I'd squeeze in an updated 3.6 DI with around 300 hp/280 toorque. Pontiac (if they bring it back): The cars need to be more sports oriented. The interiors need to be driver oriented and sporty looking. As for the SUVs, one SUV is fine. Maybe an Aplha platform SUV with the 2.8 V6 with around 210 hp, with the option of a turbo 2.8 w/ around 310 hp. Buick: Should be a more family oriented vehicle, with a more luxurious interior. Must have versatile interiors. As for SUV's, there should be a Theta based SUV with maybe a 1.turbo version of the 1.8 with around 230 hp with eassist. The next Enclave should move to the Eplison plus platform and keep the 3.6 DI, maybe tweak it to 315 hp with easssist. Cadillac: A combination of the sportiness of Pontiac, the technology of Chevy, and the luxury of Buick. For SUV's, there should be an Alpha platform SUV with the base engine as the 2.0 turbo with around 285 hp with eassist, and maybe a 2.5 supercharged with eassist, maybe 350 hp. Caddy should also have an X5 competitor on the extended Alpha platform with the 2.5 supercharged with 350 hp with eassist as the base engine, the other engine should be a 3.6, supercharged, with 450 hp, with eassist.. I think this is how the SUV's of each brands should be diffrentiated.
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