Opel/Vauxhall plans to roll out a budget minicar in Europe in 2015 in a bid to capture customers of sister brand Chevrolet. General Motors will stop selling Chevrolet vehicles in Europe by the end of 2015 after the brand failed to gain track in terms sales in the region. As a result, GM will focus its efforts on Opel in Europe.
Opel/Vauxhall will start selling the five-door minicar – badged as Opel Karl in mainland Europe and as the Vauxhall Viva in the United Kingdom – at a base tag of EUR10,000 ($12,926). It will be slightly smaller than the Opel Adam minicar and shorter than the Opel Corsa subcompact.
The Karl/Viva will be underpinned by the same platform that underpins the next-generation Chevrolet Spark, a source at Opel/Vauxhall told Reuters. It will be powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine.
The Karl/Viva is set to replace the Opel/Vauxhall Agila, a rebadged variant of the Suzuki Wagon R+. Opel/Vauxhall expects Karl/Viva to help it appeal to buyers who previously would have bought a Chevrolet.
The source said that the new minicar, although tagged as an entry model, will not “feel cheap” as Opel/Vauxhall “worked hard” to build a good quality product. The minicar’s name “Karl” is a tribute to one of the Adam Opel’s sons who helped set up the carmaker in 1862.
Tina Mueller, Opel's chief marketing officer, said in a statement that “Karl” is a “short, snappy and catchy” name representing Opel brand values. Vauxhall had used the Viva name from 1963 to 1979.