In a recent article, our colleagues from the German media Automobilwoche revealed that Carlos Tavares said he was concerned about the American and European elections of 2024. According to him, “a possible reversal of public opinion and politics regarding electric cars can no longer be excluded “. It is known that electric cars do not only have fans, including among politicians. On the Old Continent, the objective of 100% new zero-emission models in 2035 could be undermined with a new composition of the European Parliament. But then, if this were the case, how would the different brands of the Stellantis group organize themselves? Would they change course? For the CEO of Opel, Florian Huettl, with whom we spoke yesterday, he was present in the capital, there is no question of reviewing the electrification plans of the manufacturer he manages.
A new decisive step for Opel in 2025
“A few years ago, Opel chose a very clear strategy of moving towards electric,” he was keen to point out first of all. In this case, the objective set in 2021 by former Opel boss Michael Lohscheller was the following: namely 100% zero-emission models by 2028. It is still relevant today. According to Florian Huettl, it should be filled around the end of 2028 to be very precise. From this date, only 100% electric models will be sold, multi-energy models will be forgotten.
However, already in 2025, the brand will only market zero-emission models. The replacements for the Crossland and Grandland, planned respectively for the first half of 2024 and the second half of the same year, will be the very last Opel vehicles to be offered, with a choice of thermal or electric engines.
Cheaper electric vehicles to convince
Florian Huettl nevertheless recognizes it: “an electric vehicle today is expensive”. According to him, the purchase price is one of the main reasons for dissatisfaction. It’s an argument that could be put forward by his detractors next year. In any case, it’s the only one he remembers. To respond to this problem, Opel intends to offer a more accessible electric vehicle: “I confirm that Opel will offer a small vehicle in the B segment at €25,000, purely electric”. If Opel gives a succession to its Adam and Agila as suggested Autocar not long ago, it will nevertheless be a larger model, there is no question of reconnecting with the A segment, that of mini-city cars.
It is almost certain that it will indeed be a new model, and not a less opulent new generation Corsa like Citroën ë-C3. Because, in the group’s hierarchy, Opel is still a notch above the Chevron brand. It is the equal of a Peugeot and operates in the segment of premium general brands but with a “German” identity, to use the term put forward by its manager. In short, a direct competitor to Volkswagen. More accessible, the Opel at €25,000 would therefore have nothing “low-cost”, it would rather target the future ID.2 than a C3 or the next version of Fiat Panda.
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To sum up
We had the opportunity to speak with Opel CEO Florian Huettl, who was in Paris yesterday. It was the perfect opportunity to revisit a recent statement from Carlos Tavares. Summary of our discussions.
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