Stellantis' OpelVauxhall brand has set an aggressive target of selling only full-electric vehicles by 2028, a task that new CEO Florian Huettl has embraced since taking over in June 2022 from Uwe Hochgeschurtz, now head of the group's European operations. Two of Opel's most important models, the Astra compact hatchback and the Grandland compact SUV, will soon have full-electric variants, joining the small Corsa and Mokka, as well as passenger vans. Huettl is also guiding Opel's move to a direct-sales agency model starting this year. He spoke to Automotive News Europe Managing Editor Douglas A. Bolduc and News Editor Peter Sigal in a video interview about Opel's plans for the coming years.
Stellantis brands are moving to a direct-sales agency model in Europe. What is Opel/Vauxhall's schedule for this?
We are now on the finish line to get the first markets ready where we will roll out the agency model -- Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. That will happen this year. We reached a good agreement with the European dealer representatives a few weeks ago. This is a very exciting project because it's a new way of approaching the overall customer experience. What it means is that the dealer becomes more of a direct representative of the brand than an independent trader.