GM to Develop Two Minicars for the European Market
The first model will be a direct competitor to the Mini. Built under the Vauxhall/Opel badge, it will be a hatchback internally labeled "fun and fashion". The other will be a budget priced city car, built under a still undisclosed badge.
GM is hoping to capitalize on the success of small cars, such as the Fiat 500 and Peugeot 107, by manufacturing its own small city car. The luxury GM mini, as well as the next-generation Corsa, is currently being designed and engineered in Korea. The country will also provide a cheaper platform that will make the car more competitive price-wise.
Although Korea is undertaking the bulk of the design and engineering, it's expected that the upmarket Opel and Vauxhall mini will be manufactured in Europe. However, GM's Opel engineering base in Russelsheim has only only contributed in a minor way to the development of these minicars. Final design work on the new Opel has not been completed, as it is expected to go on sale in 2013.
Korea is more likely to become a center for production of GM’s electric cars rather than minis. Sources at GM’s Daewoo Auto and Technology in Korea say that the Chevrolet Volt could be produced in Korea if Asian demand is sufficient. Also under development at GM DAT will be the Cruze and Lacetti EVs sedans.