Opel Relies on Crossovers to Return to Profit image

Opel will target crossovers, part of its return to profit strategy and to boost sales.

“We will move more into crossover segments in general, because that’s where customers are going,” said Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann.

No official information was given regarding Opel’s plan to introduce a large crossover as a flagship model, expected to go into production in 2017. According to German magazine AutoBild, the crossover will have a starting price of 26,000 euro, more than the Insignia mid-sized sedan.

Neumann said that the models replacing the Zafira and Meriva minivans will be styled as crossovers and are due in 2016. Opel and PSA Peugeot Citroen are co-developing the minivans which will be manufactured on Peugeot’s platforms and with the French automaker’s engines.

“All of our big-selling cars, the Corsa, Astra, Insignia and Mokka, sit on high-volume global platforms from General Motors. The only two I could not put on such global platforms were minivans,” Neumann said.

The new Zafira will be manufactured at Peugeot’s Sochaux plant inFranceand the new Meriva will be built at Opel’s Zaragoza plant inSpain. Last year Zafira sales in the European market dropped 11% to 85,386 units and Meriva sales fell 27% to 56,936 units.