The folks at Autoblog just announced that General Motors plans to begin selling Opel brand models in China, Australia, South Africa and “other Asian markets”. The German-origin automaker has typically seen its vehicles badged as other brands outside of the European market (Pontiac was a benefactor of this on many occasions) but GM feels that Opel is ready to spread its wings.
The Chinese auto industry is one of the most rapidly growing markets in the world and GM already enjoys excellent sales in that market with the Buick brand, among others. Opel moved around 4000 units in China last year but the company feels that a full introduction of the European brand to the premium segment will yield strong sales.
It will be interesting to see what Opel does in the Australian market, considering that GM-run Holden is already firing on all cylinders in that area with vehicles that are either based on an Opel model or share a similar platform (and look) with current Opel models.
In any case, should the Opel brand succeed in other markets, the growth will help support the Detroit-based automaker both in basic sales figures but also added R&D for other markets that can be shared with the domestic US brands.
For more General Motors information, check out these links:
Strong Chinese market sales lead to a new brand under the GM umbrella