Opel is ending production of its flagship model in Rüsselheim

Opel is ending production of its flagship model in Rüsselheim


Insignia before assembly at Opel in Rüsselsheim: A worker prepares the cockpit for installation.
Opel

Anyone who thinks of Opel immediately thinks of the main plant in Rüsselsheim. There, in south-west Hesse, the range-topping Insignia rolls off the assembly line – but not for much longer.

As Business Insider has heard from the suppliers of the Blitz label, the car, which is based on an old technology platform, will soon be cancelled. Opel confirmed the news on request.

However, the Insignia segment does not offer the main brand forever. A traditional manufacturer is developing a successor that will be powered by high-voltage current, so to speak.

Fanal in Rüsselsheim: The Opel carmaker will stop production of its flagship Insignia at its main factory in Hesse before the end of the year. Business Insider learned this from the supplier circles of the cultural company Stellantis Group.

Upon request, an Opel spokesperson confirmed the news: “Due to CO2 measurements and due to the rapid development of three new high-energy models in Rüsselsheim, production of the Insignia will be discontinued this year.” A trinity model This refers to the Opel Astra and Astra Sports Tourer cars as well as the DS4 of the French sister brand DS Automobiles, which is also built at the headquarters.

As confirmed to Business Insider by Opel’s business partners, the label with electric light in its logo fully covers the new model in the Insignia segment, which will provide electricity, among other things, in the increasingly fierce competition there.

The evening sun is already shining: the Insignia sedan in the top sports version of the GSi.

The evening sun is already shining: the Insignia sedan in the top sports version of the GSi.
Opel

For his part, the spokesman commented on this news with these words: “Opel is conducting a transformation of the electric brand by 2028 and is preparing the market launch of several modern electric models, including a future electric flagship.”

Area usage should not suffer as a result of Logo’s termination. Opel will therefore reduce complexity and thus enable a more rapid development of the popular Astra compact family.

When asked about the mentioned projects, the spokesperson explained: “Our goal is to use the plant fully for the production of Astra, Astra Sports Tourer and DS4.” The upcoming Insignia center, which is based on an electric platform, faster fuel Boosting the capabilities of the Astra.

More demand appears to be falling

The background to this merger: the Insignia series is the only car in the Rüsselsheim range that still uses a technical base from General Motors (GM). The former Opel from the United States transferred the German company to the French Groupe PSA in 2017.

This in turn merged with the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) group in January 2021 to form the Stellantis corporation. After years of losses as a GM subsidiary, Opel has been profitable again for years. In the home market of Germany, for example, the Blitz Corsa is the best-selling compact car.

Opel introduced the spacious middle-class model Insignia in 2008 as the successor to the Vectra and Signum. The current generation has been rolling off the assembly line for a good five years as the Grand Sport sedan and Sports Tourer estate version.

GM’s Insignia design wasn’t meant to be electrified. Thus, the car, along with Opel’s small Crossland SUV, is one of the last two models from the Rüsselsheim company that does not have an e-module or even – like the Corsa and Mokka option – runs purely on electricity.

Until the market launch of the Insignia’s successor, which can be expected in 2024/2025, the Opel Grandland SUV will be the most attractive appearance in the portfolio. As a hybrid with electric four-wheel drive, the five-seater delivers an impressive 300 hp system performance.

In fiscal year 2021, around 20,000 Insignia units were built at the Rüsselsheim plant, which employs around 2,000 people. With the series nearing the end of its life cycle, which is usually seven years, Opel must expect demand to continue to decline.

New brand boss at the flagship of the future: Opel driver Florian Huettl with the SUV Grandland.

New brand boss at the flagship of the future: Opel driver Florian Huettl with the SUV Grandland.
Opel

Competition is also cutting models

In addition, the Insignia segment, known in the industry as the “D”, has been losing popularity in many marketing areas for some time. Opel’s Wolfsburg-based rival VW has already canceled the Passat model as a sedan in Europe. French rival Renault took a comparable talisman from the range, Opel’s rival Ford the Mondeo.

Opel is in good company when it comes to turning to more profitable models – Stuttgart-based premium carmaker Mercedes-Benz is also saying goodbye to less profitable models and intends to focus more on premium segments.

Opel will not give up the potentially profitable D-segment for a car that meets the zeitgeist: “We are working hard on the successor to the Insignia, which will be electrified,” emphasized the spokesperson. He did not mention the planned factory for this or the specific time of the market launch.

For the interest of the workers at the Rüsselsheim site, he had a positive forecast already, despite the imminent end of the Insignia: “The remaining models are all electrified and will ensure the best use of the plant.” Opel’s main factory is already running two shifts. again.

Opel, which has been under the leadership of Florian Huettl since June this year, currently sells several electric vehicles, covering the spectrum from the Rocks-e mini-set to the Van Movano-e.

Charge master - not just at the charging station: Spacious Insignia estate Sports Tourer Edition.

Charge master – not just at the charging station: Spacious Insignia estate Sports Tourer Edition.
Opel

In two years, a hybrid or battery-electric drive should be available for all models from Opel, which has now been around for 160 years.
From 2028 onwards, Opel – the only German brand in the 14-label Stellantis group managed by Carlos Tavares – will exclusively offer battery-electric vehicles in Europe.