What plants and in which countries are engaged in production of cars under the Opel brand?
Opel is quite a well-known car manufacturer from Germany. The brand has a German origin, although this does not mean that the cars are produced specifically in Germany.
Opel are in good demand among consumers. This can be explained by a decent ratio of price and quality offered. In this case, one of the key reasons for the ability to offer good cars at an affordable cost is a competent organization of the production process. The brand has distributed its facilities in different regions and countries.
Due to the fact that the production facilities are distributed in different geographical locations, it allows to save on labor costs, deliver cars to the nearest dealer centers, provide an efficient supply of original parts, components, provide technical support, etc.
But the branched out production does not allow to understand clearly the country of Opel’s manufacturer. Therefore, potential buyers have many questions about the origin of vehicles of the German brand.
It is necessary to know and to understand, where do they assemble Opel Astra and where do they assemble family Opel Zafira, as well as many other representatives of the company’s model range.
If we talk in general terms about whose manufacturer Opel is, we can say that it is Germany. The brand is purely German. But there is more of a question is not whose production under the name Opel, but where the assembly takes place.
Although a car with the Opel nameplate is positioned as German, but in practice there is some difference in whose actual country the manufacturer is. In fact, we are talking about a German brand, which is assembled at the plants in different countries. This principle is used by almost all leading automakers. In fact, everyone understands perfectly well that the same Mercedes cars are not assembled exclusively in Germany by pedantic Germans.
The company Opel, which until recently was a part of the motor-corporations General Motors, which already gives grounds to call the brand not only German but also American, has several enterprises. And General Motors specifically limit production of Opel cars at its plants, as at the moment does not count on the German brand. You will learn about the situation of the company a little later.
Some problems with the expansion of influence and presence of Opel on the international market is due to the fact that these cars are mainly created for European consumers. Because of this in the U.S., South America, Asia cars are not in particular demand.
There are several plants and production lines, scattered in different countries. Namely:
- Germany. All cars of the premium class are assembled here, i.e. the most expensive models of the company. Engines are also assembled in Germany, and then they are sent to assembly lines in other countries. For now, Germany is the main production site;
- Europe. There are several branches concentrated around European countries where full-cycle assembly is performed. These include Poland, Belgium, Spain, Great Britain, Austria and Hungary;
- In France it is only assembled from components. At the same time Opel is assembled at facilities of other brands;
- Turkey. They are exported here ready assemblies, so the Turks have only to assemble them together.
When it comes to where to assemble the same popular Opel Insignia, or who is a manufacturer of compact Opel Corsa, many often have the first thought of China or India.
Yes, many companies, including the leading automakers and current auto giants, widely use the Celestial Empire and India for the assembly of their cars. This is due to the financial benefits of such production. But this trend has not affected Opel. Also, the manufacturer does not use plants in Indonesia and South America. Therefore, do not believe that the popular Opel Vectra is actually assembled in some Chinese province or Indonesian city.
Some motorists are interested in where the Opel Mokka is now assembled for consumers from Russia, and whether the cars of this brand continue to be assembled in the territory of the Russian Federation.
Up to a certain point, Opel allocated several of its main production lines in Germany, Poland, the UK and Russia.
Germany, where three plants are located, assembles:
Two facilities in the U.K. concentrate production of the Astra, Astra ST and Vivaro models. And Polish facilities are responsible for the production of the Astra, Astra Classic and Zafira. For Spain, the key models are Corsa and Meriva.
But it is still an open question as to which plant could assemble Opel Astra, Mokka, Antara and other models. The answer to whose assembly line produced these cars, in many ways depends on the year of manufacture of the car.
The thing is that previously it was not difficult to find out where to assemble Opel Antara or Insignia for Russia, because assembled on the territory of Russia and the car just went to domestic consumers. But at the present time to assemble a number of models in Russia is not possible.
Some models were indeed made in Russian factories. But now not a single car is produced. And at one time, the production of Opel cars was quite active and large-scale. And yet it is interesting to know what capacities of the plant in Russia were used for this and where at one time created Opel Astra and other no less popular among Russians models of the German car brand.
Assembly of German cars was concentrated in St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad. And the following models were created here:
- Astra ST.
It became known quite a long time ago where production will be moved and where the same Opel Mokka, Astra or Zafira will be assembled now.
In the last few years, after the departure of Opel from the Russian market, the situation with production facilities and their location has changed slightly. Representative offices appeared in South America and South Korea. In Russia, Opel produced its last car in 2015.
Let’s find out who assembles and produces some of the Opel cars available in Russia instead of the domestic plants in Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg.
- Different versions of the Astra model, including the Classic and Sport Tourer, were moved from St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad to assembly lines in the UK;
- The Antara and Mokka are now produced by the Mexicans. Although for some time, the South Koreans were engaged in it in parallel. Then the assembly in Korea was curtailed, but Mexico stayed in business;
- If earlier Zafira was produced in Kaliningrad, now these tasks are executed only on the territory of Germany;
- Meriva until the last was assembled on domestic assembly lines, but after 2015 production moved to Poland.
According to the available information, at the moment the demand for Opel cars among Russians is quite high. Therefore, it is likely that in the next year or as early as 2020, the German brand will resume cooperation with Russian enterprises, and again there will be Opel cars of domestic assembly. Although, taking into account the latest news, the expectations of many may not coincide with reality. Opel is unstable, and its future is quite cloudy.
Whose Opel now.
Until now, many car enthusiasts argue that Opel is strictly a German brand. This is true, but since 1929, the company was part of the automobile concern General Motors.
The history was developing rapidly, then gradually. Opel had unbelievable ups and very painful downs. At that, never was there a slightest doubt that General Motors would not refuse its European business as Opel brand.
But everything turned upside down in early 2017, when suddenly the leadership of the American concern announced its intention to sell Opel. But along with it the English subsidiary brand Vauxhall was going under the hammer. The motives turned out to be more than prosaic. Profitability. In recent years, Opel and Vauxhall have not brought the company any profit at all. On the contrary, the enterprises were unbelievably unprofitable.
And a buyer was found quickly enough. It was an automobile association PSA, which includes such companies as Citroen and Peugeot. Many people were perplexed why suddenly European auto companies, which were in a state of deep crisis only recently, but managed to recover a little bit and achieve good success.
But the logical question is about the reasonability of the purchase of the unprofitable and problematic company Opel by PSA. In fact, PSA is buying its competitor since basically Opel is concentrated on the consumers of the European market. That is, one can suppose that the French want to buy a direct competitor, after which they will simply close all the enterprises. It’s a strange move, which doesn’t resemble the truth.
Another option is considered to be an attempt to join forces, gathering together quite impressive brands like Citroen, Peugeot and Opel to squeeze Volkswagen from the leading positions, and to cope with the eternal rival Renault. That is, PSA has ambitions to take a strong second place on the continent.
The position of General Motors
As the analytical documentation presented by General Motors clearly shows, since 1999 their European business, i.e. production of Opel cars, is purely unprofitable. In 2009 there was a serious financial crisis, in which the U.S. corporation also suffered. Even then GM was disposed to sell Opel because of its chronic unprofitability and unprofitability. Moreover, the company had even managed to agree with representatives from Canada and Russia, i.e. there was a real probability that Opel would become Russian in the end. But the deal fell apart only at the very last moment. Whether that was good or bad, it’s hard to judge now.
When General Motors abandoned the idea of selling its European brand, few doubted that the corporation would decide to sell in the future. After all, after the failed deal, the Americans began to pour a lot of money into the development, formation and modernization of Opel. Though they had to close some plants, including German and Belgian assembly lines, huge means were invested to troubled enterprises at the same time.
As a result Opel actively undertook modernization of its production, development of new models, improvement of marketing, increase of its ratings. As a result the efforts were not in vain. The situation in Europe had significantly improved; the cars under the Opel brand became in demand and quite popular.
And here General Motors sincerely began to believe that for almost 20 years their European automobile brand would finally end the reporting year with positive dynamics, would earn and would not go into deficit. But expectations didn’t match reality. At the end of 2016, operating losses amounted to an impressive almost $260 million. Then representatives of General Motors explained it by the fact that there was a sharp devaluation of the British currency, as well as the decision of Great Britain to leave the European Union.
The intentions of PSA and the winning position of the Chinese
Not everyone knows, but back in 2012 between General Motors and PSA was signed and created a kind of strategic alliance. At that time European association of automobile manufacturers Citroen and Peugeot were going through bad times and actually were on the verge of bankruptcy. GM had helped its European colleagues and even temporarily held about 7% of PSA shares.
An unusual alliance was formed to organize the joint purchase of components and develop models under the PSA and Opel brands on joint platforms. As a result, there are cars such as the Crossland X from Opel, actually created from the Peugeot 2008. And also we should mention the crossover GrandLand X which is produced under the Opel brand, though in fact it was reincarnated 3008 from the French Peugeot.
The result of all these rather unexpected turns was the sale of the Opel brand to PSA at the end of 2017. Experts believe that the main goal of the European car companies Peugeot and Citroen is precisely the takeover of the European competitor to further reduce excess production capacity in Europe.
Moreover, it is certain that the French will not cut jobs at home because about 13% of PSA shares are on the balance sheet of the state. The cuts will be carried out through England and Germany.
We should not forget about another 13% of shares which belong to the Chinese car maker DongFeng. Exactly it, according to analysts, wins in such situation more than others. In fact, only the Chinese company will have not only interesting and up-to-date modern technologies from Citroen and Peugeot, but also the largest design center of Opel. This will allow the enterprise from Celestial Empire to significantly expand its lineup, improve quality, recognition of its brand, without making special efforts to develop new technologies.
Taking into account the current situation, it is very difficult to predict where will produce Opel brand cars in the future and whether the company will cease to exist completely. There are prerequisites for this. And after the transition to PSA, the risk of Opel’s disappearance becomes more and more likely.
Where is Opel assembled – the model range and features of the brand
German brand Opel today is fully owned by the American concern General Motors, is actively represented in Europe, and especially loved in Britain. By the way, for the British, the company left the brand name Vauxhall, and also simple and popular models of the corporation now and then appear in the model lines of smaller brands in the licensed version. Opel is one of the most open-minded manufacturers, whose lineup can satisfy both the student and the retiree. The concern’s offerings have changed extensively recently, leading to many questions from potential buyers. For example, when buying a vehicle the question of where they assemble Opel began to arise, how high quality the assembly is.
The corporation is not so quick to update the model range. Until recently, in the corporation’s lineup you could observe the popular sedan, hatchback and station wagon Astra Classic, the design of which is more than 15 years old. Nevertheless, the company is perceived as a European brand, many people wish to buy cars of this particular manufacturer. Experts often say that American investments made German concern even better, saved it from unnecessary fastidiousness to details.
A bit of history and geography from the automobile concern Opel
Given the fact that the company is designed only for Europe, the geography of the distribution of factory facilities is not so high. The company does not have production points in Brazil, India and Africa, as well as in China, as is common among modern brands. The company concentrates its production in Europe, as well as in Russia. Potential buyers of Opel cars in our country are buying vehicles which are assembled locally. Localization in the company is quite high, and the geography of the concern is as follows:
- There are four main plants in Germany, where they produce engines and some premium models;
- Manufacturing of almost all models is set up at local plants across Europe;
- There are full production facilities in Belgium, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Poland;
- In the UK, full production of the Astra and some other models, the most popular in England;
- Opel Russia with factories in Shushary and Kaliningrad for the production of the whole range;
- In Turkey and France, Opel is assembling cars at factories of third-party corporations in the industry;
- The corporation is expanding only in Western Europe, which is where the concern sees its potential market.
The development of the brand is severely limited by the decisions of General Motors. The company is withdrawing Chevrolet from the European market for the sake of developing the Opel brand, allowing the Germans to remain the only official representative of GM in Europe. It promises a certain development of the corporation and absence of internal competition. In Russia, the company was very widely represented, but in the last year there was a winding down of some production functions. The company partially left the market because of the crisis in the automotive sector. Not so long ago it was announced that there were plans to partially move the production to Belarus.
Model range – budget offerings up to 1,000,000 rubles
Among the models presented in the Russian market, you can find both premium cars with excellent features and the latest equipment, and rather old versions of equipment with a low price tag. The company has tried to please all potential buyers, but its image in Russia is quite limited. Therefore, expensive cars manufactured by Opel are not yet much popular competitors to other premium brands. To understand all the features of budget transport from the German company, it is enough to consider the following offerings:
– Sedan, hatchback and station wagon in classic form, which provide a low price (from 655,000 rubles) and classic design, not bad technology with somewhat outdated characteristics;
- Zafira Family – an old version of the family minivan, which looks quite adequate for quiet operation in a large family, a good engine and a good configuration make this car an excellent buy, cost from 830,000; , but already from the new lineup, has a modern design, a more compact interior and not too powerful power units, costs from 780,000 rubles;
- Astra of new generation in hatchback, sedan and station wagon body types – absolutely new car with modern characteristics and attractive design, excellent endurance and low fuel consumption, the model costs from 741 000 rubles for hatchback;
- Astra GTC – a sporty 3-door version of the hatchback, which is excellent for youth active use or for a young family, successful design is combined with a democratic price of 819,000;
- Mokka – youth crossover compact type with successful design and excellent characteristics, quite modern execution of every detail, up-to-date technology and good interior design features, as well as a good price of 830,000 rubles.
This is what the lineup of budget vehicles from the company Opel looks like. Recently, the influence of designers and engineers of General Motors on the appearance and technical equipment of Opel cars has become very obvious. If previously the German concern has remained authentic, then today in terms of low-cost cars all the technology and many design features are taken from the U.S. models of the corporation. However, in Europe Opel is perceived very positively. Unfortunately, in Russia is not yet represented the model Adam – a small hatchback with an excellent design and a lot of branded features.
Expensive lineup of Opel – a completely different mood
If you have more than 1 000 000 rubles to buy a car, you can look at the expensive proposals of the company Opel. The concern can really offer fascinating options for a quality ride. There are far fewer cars to choose from, but the choice is still quite large. American technology and design features influence the works of German engineers in this class as well, but here the authenticity and independence of the concern from its owners is more noticeable. Among the most interesting offerings of the company’s expensive lineup in Russia, you can recall such models:
- Antara – a large crossover or full-size SUV (according to different classifications), which inspires confidence with its classic design and gives real comfort to the buyer, has modern and confident technology at a democratic price of 1,110,000 rubles;
- Insignia sedan and hatchback – excellent cars of the medium size class, which have become modern competitors to the most successful cars in the industry, among the positive qualities should be highlighted relevance and technology, as well as the cost from 1 110 000 rubles;
- Insignia Country Tourer – the optimal station wagon for those who want an active and exciting ride, notable additions to the design of the base model, special rims and plastic body protection, many functions of a real SUV, as well as increased ground clearance at a cost of 1,320,000 rubles;
- Zafira Tourer – updated large family station wagon, which gives premium space and excellent technical developments to its owner, as well as excellent interior design, the cost of the car at the same time does not exceed reasonable limits – 1,040,000 rubles.
These are such unusual features offered by the traditional German manufacturer Opel. The company actually has great features and can surprise with its novelties. However, the large geographical spread of the plants and the presence of a number of problems with permanent customs clearance with the European Union makes the Russian market one of the last in line for development for the company. As long as there is a plant in Kaliningrad with large-knot assembly, we get fresh models and offers of Opel. We suggest watching a video review of the new Opel Insignia Tourer:
Respected in many civilized countries of the world, the brand Opel today found itself on a rather limited path of development. The brand is closed to other continents, as well as the very tidy market of China. The company cannot save resources by locating plants or research centers in developing countries. Opel has to pay a high price for development in Western Europe, as this is the only market available to the concern. These restrictions were imposed by the parent concern General Motors.
Nevertheless, we can see the active development of the corporation, the change in the design features of vehicles and a number of other features that allow the brand to move forward. The company does not aspire to take the lead in certain markets, but it gets its sales number in full. In fact, Opel offers really good cars at a great price, which is enough to stay afloat in today’s difficult and competitive market. What are your thoughts about Opel’s current model offerings?