Opel reveals new strategy under PSA Group guidance

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"Michael Lohscheller, the Opel-Vauxhall chief executive, has instead opted for technological changes and cutting working hours to reduce production costs by "€700 per car" in three years. And fast, as the PACE! strategy unveiled today shows.

It also confirmed previously announced profitability targets for Opel that call for a 2 percent operating margin in 2020, rising to 6 percent in 2026.

"We quickly came to the conclusion that Opel was not ready to reach the Carbon dioxide targets set by the European Union for 2020-2021", Opel boss Michael Lohscheller told reporters and analysts at the brand's headquarters in Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt.

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Although the reduction may seem a little drastic, it's part of the group's PACE! initiative that aims to return Vauxhall to profitability by 2020 - a smaller range of drivetrains and platforms will enable it implement the plan. Another major achievement for Opel will be the task to "become a European CO2 leader". All passenger model lines would be electrified by 2024, offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside internal combustion engines. By the end of the decade there are four electrified models planned already, including a PHEV version of the Grandland X and a fully electric next generation Corsa. Like the new Corsa, due in 2019, it will be based on the PSA group small auto CMP platform. "This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company", says Lohscheller. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development.

Overall, Opel aims to reduce the number of platforms it uses for passenger cars from nine now to two by 2024, with the number of powertrains cut by ten to four. It will be a centre of competence for alternative fuels, including fuel cell technology, certain automated driving and driver assistance features, and software configuration. First of all there's confirmation the rumors were entirely true - all Opel/Vauxhall models are expected to make a transition to PSA architectures even faster than reported, 2024 onwards, all passenger cars of the two brands will use technologies from within the French conglomerate.

Two PSA vehicle platforms, destined as the basis for several models, will be quickly introduced at Opel-Vauxhall manufacturing sites, speeding the shift to PSA engines and transmissions. "Finally!" Lohscheller announced, with the company planning to enter 20 new markets by 2022, probably starting Turkey.

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