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|Home » Opel Vectra News » Switzerland: GM Europe president says Opel to abolish the Vectra ...|
Carl-Peter Forster, president of General Motors Europe, has told Auto Express that the replacement for the Opel and Vauxhall Vectra will have a new name, which the magazine claims will be 'Insignia'. That badge was used by Opel for an upmarket rear-wheel drive concept car that premiered at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2003.
"We will change its name for the new car," the UK weekly magazine quotes Forster as saying. "Vectra is too connected to the conservative current design. The new model will be sleek and more like a coupe to look at, but of course it will still be a family car," he added.
Craig Cheetham, a spokesperson for the Vauxhall division said that the company has no statement to make on the issue but did not deny the GM President's claim.
The Vectra name has been used for three succeeding generations of Opel sedan, five-door hatchback and wagon variants and two Vauxhall versions, the latest of which was launched in June 2002 and last facelifted in 2005 (the 1988 Opel Vectra was badged 'Cavalier' by GM's UK division).
The current model is also sold in Australia with Holden badges. All Vectras are built at Opel's Rüesselsheim plant in Germany and sit on the GM Epsilon architecture, which also underpins models such as the Alfa Romeo 159, Brera and Spider; Cadillac BLS; Chevrolet Malibu; Fiat Croma; Opel-Vauxhall Signum; Pontiac G6; Saab 9-3 and Saturn Aura.
The next-shape Vectra is due at the end of 2008 and will use an updated version of the same Epsilon architecture, dubbed ' Epsilon 2 '. There should also be a rebadged version for Saturn, which may be an AWD wagon only. It is likely to become part of the current Aura line-up as GM continues its policy of gradually merging the Opel and Saturn model ranges.
GM Europe is believed to be cutting Vectra production next year to 127,000 from this year's planned 144,000 units.
A sleeker car may mean a move upmarket just as Honda did when it redesigned the latest European markets Accord, leaving the mass market largely to Ford (Mondeo), Volkswagen (Passat) and Toyota (Avensis) among others. Nissan also recently exited this mid-sized sedan sector with the end of Primera production.