Opel optimistic about being profitable with the new Adam

Article by Anita Panait, on January 7, 2013

Opel/Vauxhall is positive that it could build its new Adam minicar in Germany and still post profits, Opel sales and marketing chief Alfred Rieck told Automotive News Europe. Rieck remarked that the way Adam has been constructed provides the carmaker the possibility to build it in Germany and still be profitable.

Opel is producing the Adam at its Eisenach plant Germany, in contrast to the current trend in which carmakers build their vehicles in Eastern Europe due to lower wages in the region. Opel designed the Adam on a shortened version of the platform that underpins the Opel Corsa to reduce engineering costs. Both the Adam and the Corsa will share the same paint shop, body shop and assembly line to cut manufacturing costs.

The two cars will also share powertrains. The Adam will be powered by the 1.2- and 1.4-liter gasoline engines that run the Corsa. This year, Opel will offer two versions of a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-liter gasoline direct-injection unit.

Opel will roll out the Adam to showrooms in Europe this month. Opel executives hope to prove that the carmaker can profitably build cars in Western Europe by borrowing engines, technology and manufacturing from the Opel Corsa.

Other carmakers have already given up trying to make a profit while producing vehicles in Western Europe. For instance, Nissan imports the Micra from India while Mitsubishi plants import its subcompact from Thailand.

Honda, meanwhile, recently announced that its Swindon plant in the United Kingdom will halt producing the Honda Fit. In October 2012, Reuters, citing unnamed union officials, reported that Renault plans to produce 70 percent of its Clios in Turkey.

As for Opel, the carmaker has bright plans for the Adam, which will compete in the "premium A segment," that already includes cars like the Fiat 500. The Adam carries a EUR11,500 starting price in Germany, mirroring that of the 500. The Adam will also offer a wide range of personalized equipment to entice customers to spend more for their vehicles.

The sub-segment where the Opel Adam is competing is full of vehicles with looks that are modern interpretations of past automotive design.

However, Opel opted to take a different path in designing the Adam, the German carmaker’s first lifestyle, small vehicle. Instead of taking inspirations from the past, the new Opel Adam looks forward with its own distinct modern design, as complemented by more innovations and features than its rivals.

The primary concept for the new Adam was to design and create a small car that could personalize according to the tastes and preferences of its owners. Thus, designers, engineers and manufacturing experts at Opel worked to come up with new features that make customization much easier.

Malcolm Ward, Opel’s Design Director, remarked that during the creation of Adam, the design team was filled with "can do" spirit and vibrant energy, noting that they were able to come up with a good number of early ideas that were able to make it to production. This approach is what allowed the Opel Adam to be personalized more than any car in the segment – thanks to the seemingly endless combination for exterior and interior color as well as fabric, décor and wheels.

Interestingly, the new Opel Adam is the first car in the auto industry to don three design features that allows it to be further personalized: exchangeable colored wheel clips, backlit decors on the instrument panel, and printed headliners

Topics: opel, opel adam, city car

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