We’ve already shared with you how PSA-owned Opel turned around and made a profit only one year after being sold by General Motors, plus how the company actually did it. Now we’re sharing Opel’s plans to ditch GM platforms altogether in order to meet stringent European emissions standards.
At the end of 2018, Opel’s emissions were still much higher than the PSA Group’s other brands – Peugeot and Citroen. If Opel didn’t meet the CO2 targets set by the EU for the 2020 and 2021 model years, it would be fined 2.65 billion euros. In other words, the Opel vehicle portfolio would have to reduce its emissions more than 25 percent, or 30g/km.
Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller, claims that the automaker is set to reach the strict rules one by one, purging the lineup of vehicles based on heavier GM architectures that, on some models, have languished for a decade or more, while releasing full electric and plug-in hybrid variants of its bestselling vehicles. Before the PSA-led initiative, Opel’s average fleet weight was 1,345 kilos, compared to 1,204 kg for Citroen and 1,245 kg for Peugeot.
Vehicles like the current Opel Corsa and Mokka will ride on PSA’s light CMP architecture. The Adam, Cascada convertible, Karl and Zafira will all be phased out. The only GM-based cars that will remain by the end of this year will be the Astra, which rides on the GM D2 platform, and the Insignia, which rides on the GM E2 platform. Both architectures are modern and lightweight.
For its part, Opel has plans to overhaul the Astra in 2022, incorporating a plug-in hybrid derivative, but plans have not been shared as it relates to replacing the Insignia, which remains Opel’s range-topping model to this day and is sold in the U.S. and Canada as the Buick Regal.
To note, the Insignia was completely revamped two years ago as the final product of the GM-Opel partnership before The General sold the German subsidiary. Hence, it’s probably safe to assume that the current Insignia will remain in the lineup for a few years yet.
Opel does claim that by 2024, every vehicle within its lineup will offer some form of electrified powertrain option. The Corsa will be made available as a full-electric model next spring, a plug-in Grandland X is just around the corner, and the next Mokka X will be sold as a hybrid.