“Whether we make the Ampera depends on the volume it generates,” says Reilly. “At this stage, that’s hard to predict, especially since we haven’t yet priced the car. But I would definitely like to make the car in Europe, and I think Ellesmere Port has a good chance of being the place we choose.”
“Two of our main global architectures have been developed in Europe, and we think the importance of our design, engineering and R&D here will be maintained. What could change is the proportion of ‘local DNA’ we build into regional versions of our major models - and that may need a little more local engineering. We may also make slightly bigger mid-life changes to design and specification in future. But these are changes of emphasis, not fundamentals.”
General Motors decided earlier this month to cancel the sale of the Opel/Vauxhall unit and start restructuring using its own resources. It is believed the company intends to cut approximately 10,000 jobs in Europe and reduce production capacity by 20 percent in factories on the Old Continent.
“Could an Opel be something else in the US? We’re definitely open to that. We’re four brands now, not eight, and we have a lot of planning to do. But I can see more interchange than before, and that might mean us aligning US models into the European market, too.”