Opel Karl aims to win European customers of Chevrolet brand

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 21, 2015

The new Opel Karl entry-level car will have starting price of just EUR9,500 ($11,100), including sales tax. The pricing is aimed at winning over European customers of the Chevrolet brand General Motors has decided to stop offering in most markets in the region Europe by the end of the year.

The Karl, which will be sold as Viva by sister brand Vauxhall in the United Kingdom, will replace the Agila as Opel’s new entry-level model. According to the brand, Karl will feature safety and driver systems usually not found in minicars like lane departure warning, a reversing assistant, as well as heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Opel chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement that the Karl is the ideal car for buyers who are not only price-conscious but also seeks comfort, fuel efficiency and modern technology. While the Karl is slightly shorter than the Adam (3,680mm vs. 3,700mm), it offers a more spacious interior and could carry one more passenger.

It is also cheaper than Adam’s EUR11,750 starting tag. GM tried to introduce Chevrolet as a value brand in Europe in 2005, but was selling only around 200,000 units annual. Chevrolet tried to hike sales by heavy discounting and by offering more upmarket models, but that move brought it to a price war with Opel.

So far, a good majority of the 1,900 Chevrolet dealers in Europe are now selling Opel vehicles. The Karl could be availed with the 74-hp, 1.0-liter three-cylinder Ecotec gasoline engine that was recently offered on the Adam.

Interest customers can start ordering their Karls on January 19, with actual sales to commence in June. The Karl will be produced by General Motors’ Daewoo division in South Korea.

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