Opel/Vauxhall's new minicar will compete in Europe's fast-growing minicar segment and is expected to come up against Fiat's 500, Ford’s Ka and Volkswagen's Up, according to sales and marketing head Alain Visser. Most minicars are low cost while Opel has an upscale strategy for its model, which is code-named Junior.
In an interview at the Paris auto show, Visser told Automotive News Europe that the minicar will be an "iPod on wheels" with high-tech features that are expected to appeal to young buyers. Visser said that the Junior is comparable to the Fiat 500.
He also said that Germany, the UK and Italy would be the three biggest markets for the minicar. He said there’s still no decision on a production name. According to Opel's Vice-President of Design Mark Adams, the production Junior will not be a bargain basement vehicle.
Adams said that to make the brand feel more hip and more chic, it will have to offer not just a modern and contemporary urban car but Opel will also be appealing “on a more emotional level."
Opel CEO Nick Reilly said that there are two strategies for the mini-vehicle segment. The Agila small minivan will still be an affordable model for small families while the Junior will be aimed at young people who don't relate a car's size with status. [via autonews - sub. required]