Opel is planning to offer a full-electric car 2016 or 2017 as it bids to comply with stiffer emission targets in the European Union, Automobilwoche reported. The EV, having a project name BEV (battery electric vehicle), will be smaller and cheaper than the Ampera plug-in hybrid, Automobilwoche said. The mid-sized Ampera carries a starting price of EUR38,300 in Germany.
With more stringent CO2 rules taking effect by the end of the decade, Opel may have no other way but to accept the development of alternative powertrains, Automobilwoche quoted the carmaker’s sales chief, Peter Christian Kuespert, as saying. Opel is also planning a small-car offensive that entails launching a new model next year with a price of less than EUR10,000 and aimed at the Volkswagen Up minicar.
Opel already offers the Adam in the minicar segment. The report said that Opel also plans to launch the new generation of the Corsa next year. According to the report, Keuespert also disclosed plans to focus on increasing this quarter sales of the Astra, which lower-than-expected demand has frustrated both Opel and its dealers.
Automobilwoche quoted Keuespert as saying that the General Motors unit might trim the price of the Astra to make it more competitive in the segment. Opel sold 26-percent less Astra in Europe in the first two months of 2014 to 22,460 units, according to data from JATO Dynamics. [source: automotive news - sub. required]