In the next 6 to 8 weeks, the design of Vauxhall/Opel's new city car will be approved and will proceed into production just in time for the expected sale date towards the end of 2012. In an interview with Autocar, Nick Reilly, the boss of General Motors Europe, said that his experience in conceiving, building and selling small cars will be put to good use.
He thinks that the car will be profitable despite the reputation this market segment has of not being a good source of cash flow.
Reilly said that to "hit worthwhile profit targets with small car," the entire cost chain (from development up to marketing) would have to change. He also talked about the brand's appeal to wealthier and younger car buyers who don't associate status with the size of the car.
These buyers are concerned about environmental factors and they prefer a good-looking car that boasts the latest in technology.
Reilly added that the company is focusing its resources on this project because this segment has "great potential" and that not many of his rivals are currently looking into exploiting it.
The car will be designed and built in Europe. Reilly wouldn't give specifics about the pricing but he hinted that it would reflect the positioning of the Opel brand in relation to its rivals. He did say that this new city car will be priced somewhere between the cheapest and the most expensive Corsas.