GM decided to transfer a large part of the Moka subcompact SUV production from South Korea to Spain, as a response to a rare grow in demand in the sluggish European markets.
GM’s struggling European unit, Opel, sold 1 million vehicles in 2012 and has drawn 110,000 buyers from the region for the Mokka vehicle, since June 2012 when the vehicle hit the market. Opel will begin manufacturing the Mokka subcompact SUV at the Zaragoza plant from the second half of 2014, part of the automaker’s strategy to exhaust the facility’s spare capacity and keep the 5,800 workers here. The plant also builds the Meriva compact van and the Corsa compact.
“We’ll be able to produce the Mokka in greater numbers and supply our customers more quickly,” chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann was quoted as saying.
In 2012 Opel’s losses in Europe reached $1.8 billion, as the automaker struggled to deal with fix costs of plants operating far below capacity. The Zaragoza plant will use kits from South Korea to manufacture the Mokka, but the SUV’s local content will be gradually increased in the following years. GM will invest 80 million euro to build the Mokka at Zaragoza.