Things are moving fast these days at Opel, GM’s European brand. Both GM and the PSA Group, Peugeot-Citroën, have confirmed that they are in talks to further their collaboration and that it could lead to the sale of Opel to PSA.
At the same time, the company’s top management has been working on a strategy to completely transition the brand to only sell all-electric vehicles.
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Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, who briefly led VW’s electrification effort before joining Opel, is reportedly behind the strategy, according to Germany’s Manager Magazin – citing insider sources.
The move comes as the brand is about to sell its first all-electric vehicle, the Ampera-E, which is its rebranded version of GM’s Chevy Bolt EV.
The plan is reportedly based on GM’s ambitions to release more all-electric vehicle models based on the Bolt EV platform – something GM CEO Mary Barra announced earlier this year.
Under Neumann’s plan, Opel would focus its manufacturing resources to electric powertrain and gradually phase out internal combustion engine production in order to completely stop by 2030.
There’s no word on the status of the plan and Opel refused to officially comment on Manager Magazin’s report. At this point, it’s also unclear how a potential sale of Opel to Peugeot-Citroën would affect the plan or even the current Opel models available – especially the all-electric Ampera-E.
Opel’s vehicles are based on GM’s models, but they are manufactured in Europe. The Ampera-E is a different problem since it is not only a rebranded version of the Bolt EV, but it is also built directly by GM at its Orion facility in Michigan.
The company recently started producing the vehicle for deliveries around mid-2017 in some European markets.