RAPALLO, Italy - Opel Italia has become the only General Motors subsidiary in Europe to import the Corsa station wagon from GM's plant in Rosario, Argentina.
Sales began in mid-October with the 16-valve, 1.4-liter version costing L24.6 million ($15,115). The 1.7-liter turbodiesel is L24.9 million.
The Corsa wagon rides on the same 2440mm wheelbase as the European Corsa hatchback, but has been stretched from 3740mm to 4030mm.
Italy is Europe's biggest wagon market. One in every eight cars sold there is a wagon. Opel Italia plans to sell 1,000 Corsa wagons a month. Last year, 97,000 Corsas were sold in Italy. Opel is aiming for 112,000 units in 1998.
'Getting the car to Italy was complicated,' said Massimo Berni, Opel's director of sales, marketing and aftersales for southern Europe. Until recently, Berni was managing director of Opel Italia. 'Italy was the only European Opel subsidiary to take the car, so we could not spread the cost of homologation (with other countries).'
The Corsa wagon will stay in production after the new European Corsa is launched in summer 2000.