Opel will build next Mokka in Europe
Opel says it will build the next generation of its Mokka subcompact crossover in Europe and not in Korea, where the current model is manufactured.
"The next Mokka will be built in Europe," said Thomas Sedran, Opel's board member in charge of strategy.
Opel is now also reviewing whether other models may be built in Europe and Korea, Sedran said, including the Korea-made Antara medium SUV and Europe-made Agila small minivan, but added that no decisions on production locations have been made yet.
Opel's strategy chief also sees new opportunities for rebadged Opel models in China. The executive said the automaker is currently thinking about offering the Cascada mid-sized convertible, which was unveiled at this month's Geneva auto show, under parent General Motors' Buick brand.
"We are now discussing the option of exporting the Cascada to China as a Buick. There is a request from GM on this," Sedran said, adding that this would not involve large volumes.
The Cascada could help fill a gap in the Buick portfolio as a replacement for the Riviera. The U.S. automaker has already rebadged the European brand's mid-sized Insignia sedan as the Buick Regal and the Astra compact and Mokka as the Excelle and Encore respectively.
"There is a market for cars 'Made in Germany.' The sky is not the limit, but 30,000 to 40,000 units a year might be possible," Sedran said.
The Mokka is one of a number of new products including the Cascada that Opel hopes will help attract customers and help end chronic financial losses. Opel started European sales of the crossover in October and reached a volume of 5,313 units last year, according to data from the researcher JATO Dynamics.
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