GM Europe's new president Nick Reilly is prioritizing the production of a new minicar for Opel/Vauxhall. In addition, the brand is thinking about launching an electric vehicle that could compete against Ford's Ka or Volkwagen's Up.
Reilly said that customers are now downsizing to smaller cars. In a conference call with reporters, Reilly said that in his view, Opel needs a mini in today's market.
This plan for battery-powered electric cars will be looked into along with plans for an Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid, which will have a range-extending combustion engine.
Reilly explained that the Ampera, a sister model of the Chevrolet Volt, will initially be imported to Europe from the U.S. when it goes on sale in 2011, but that the Ampera will be built in Europe eventually.
For the production of the Ampera, the company is considering Vauxhall's factory in Ellesmere Port, England, which builds the Astra. At the Geneva auto show in 2004, Opel had unveiled the Trixx Minicar Concept (shown in the photo gallery).
Unfortunately, the 3+1 seater never went into production because GM chose to have Chevrolet Spark/Matiz as its only entry in the segment.