Opel/Vauxhall expects Mokka to lead small SUV segment in Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on September 19, 2013

Opel/Vauxhall is hoping that the Mokka will become a leader of Europe's small sports utility vehicle and crossover segment. Vauxhall Managing Director Duncan Aldred remarked that they could have sold 30 percent more Mokkas this year, adding that it is “a great winning proposition” for them. The European unit of General Motors commenced sales of the Mokka in June 2012, selling 110,000 units in its first 12 months.

With Opel/Vauxhall selling 43,548 Mokkas in the first seven months of 2013, the compact SUV ranked third in Europe in its segment behind the Nissan Juke (66,605) and Dacia Duster (54,350), according to data from JATO Dynamics. Analysts at HIS expect the Mokka to remain at No. 3 this year, but they believe that it will be surpassed by the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 in 2014.

Overall SUV sales in Europe surged six percent in the first half of 2013 to 1.06 million units, whereas overall European vehicles sales dropped 6 percent to 6.65 million units in the same period.

Getting big gains particularly in the concerned period are those belonging in the small SUV & crossover segment. The Captur, 2008 and Mokka accounted for 60,000 units – equivalent to all of the 38 percent gain in the segment -- to 213,804 units in Europe in the first six months of 2013.

Analysts at IHS Automotive now expect sales for the small SUV & crossover segment to surge to 582,790 units annually in Europe by 2016. To take advantage of this growing demand for such vehicles, GM plans to shift some Mokka output from its Bupyeong site in South Korea, to Opel's Zaragoza plant in Spain, starting in the second half of 2014.

With the freshly-minted Mokka SUV, Opel's design idea of fusing "sculptural artistry with German precision" finds a fresh expression in the sub-compact SUV class. The Opel Mokka conveys a strong demeanor in a tight package with etched and exquisite traits while maintaining an energetic edge with well-defined body lines. By and large the SUV has an exceptionally strong appearance and retains a good bulky stance on the road. These components are mixed with quintessential design cues standard for Opel.

Seen from the front, the Mokka is brimming with fearlessness without being forceful. A pronounced and dominant front grille with a perfectly custom-made signature chrome bar highlighting the Opel lightning logo at its center is framed by a couple of classic Opel headlamps. They contain the Opel standard wing-shaped LED icon of the daytime running lights.

The Opel Mokka's hood has a few creases and a power dome-like component in the center. This is another design cue that adds to the SUV's audacious look. At the front, the skirting around the bumpers and strong-looking fog lamps highlight the SUV qualities of the Mokka. Protective cladding around the bumpers and wheel arches are invigorated by Opel's typical "blade" light catcher on the body side that scopes upwards to the rear. The fluid design execution generates a flowing and dynamic look. Upper trim levels feature chrome window inserts as well as from door handles, giving an additional upmarket touch.

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