Hybrid or pure battery EVs to be offered as part of every Opel range by 2024, as the company finds cost savings through streamlining its powertrain and platform options
At a November 9 press conference in Rüsselsheim, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller outlined a plan for the company’s future, in of which electric technologies appear to be playing a large part.
The so-called PACE! programme intends to find synergies from parent Groupe PSA of 1.1 billion euros by 2020 and 1.7 billion by 2026. It will also see all the brand’s European passenger carlines become electrified by 2024.
As usual, that isn’t quite as ambitious as it sounds, but it means Opel will offer either a pure battery electric or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version “alongside efficient internal combustion engines” for every model.
By 2020, it says, Opel/Vauxhall will have four electrified carlines on the market, including the Grandland X PHEV and a next-generation electric Corsa.
By the same date, the also intends to reduce costs by 700 euros per car, while R&D and Capex spends will be set at 7-8% of automotive revenue, manufacturing and administration processes.
Two Groupe PSA platforms – CMP and EMP2 – will be used in all Opel/Vauxhall plants. To start with, an EMP2-based SUV is planned for Eisenach in 2019; and an EMP2-based D-segment vehicle is coming to Rüsselsheim. The allocation of new powertrains in Opel/Vauxhall manufacturing sites will accompany the shift from GM to Groupe PSA engines and transmissions.
The number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall uses for passenger cars will be reduced from 9 to 2 by 2024, and powertrain families will be optimised from currently 10 to 4 – at least one of which, ElecTrans presumes, will be the basis for its electric models.
All new vehicles will be engineered in Rüsselsheim, where the company will establish a global competence centre for the whole Groupe PSA. Its first areas of interest are fuel cells and new automated driving and driver assistance technologies.
“PACE! will unleash our full potential. This plan is paramount for the company, to protect our employees against headwinds and turn Opel/Vauxhall into a sustainable, profitable, electrified, and global company. Our future will be secured and we will contribute with German excellence to the Groupe PSA development. The implementation has already started with all teams eager to achieve the objectives,” said Lohscheller.