As part of General Motors Co.'s plan to expand Opel, its European brand, outside of Europe, its cars will be offered in Israel next year.
In a statement, the company said that the relaunch in Israel is an “important step” to reinforce Opel’s presence in growth markets. Opel aims to enter more export markets including China, South America, Australia and other Middle Eastern countries.
Opel said that it sees “excellent growth opportunities" in the mentioned markets. In the past, GM has avoided aggressively selling Opel cars in markets outside Europe due to apprehensions that it will affect the sales of its other brands (like Chevrolet, Buick and Australia's Holden) that use Opel technology.
But now, Opel CEO Nick Reilly is pushing for the change in strategy to lessen the brand's dependence on the declining European market. ACEA, the European carmakers association, said that in the first half of 2010, Opel/Vauxhall car sales decreased by 4.5% to 536,258 units.
Starting early next year, Israel's Shlomo Group, which was initially a car rental company but has since become a diverse holding group, will import and distribute Opel cars in the country.
Michael Klaus, Opel's international operations chief, expressed his pleasure at having the Shlomo group represent the Opel brand. He anticipates that its new products such as the Insignia and Astra will be able to “re-position the Opel brand in the Israeli market."