GM's Logjam with Opel and Chevy

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GM has to solve an identity crisis between their Opel and Chevy subsidiaries.

General Motors may have to make Opel a more premium brand in order to differentiate the brand from stable-mates Chevrolet. Generally speaking, when several automakers fall under the same company, parts and platforms are shared which leads to a cheaper cost incurred when developing and producing new trims or models. Sometimes though, companies can begin to overlap with the same type of products and similar vehicles. The idea of branding Opel a luxury car has been tossed around.

Opel CEO Nick Reilly recently spoke to AutoCar regarding the two brands, saying: "Undoubtedly Chevrolet will move up the pecking order with the quality of new products that have been launched and which are planned for launch." "Therefore it's logical that we'd like to see the Opel/Vauxhall product range and company image move up accordingly to keep them separated. If we can do that, then that will allow us to get the transaction price of Vauxhall and Opels a little higher. That won't happen overnight, though: we have to win comparison tests against our rivals and show our technical capabilities."

Both automakers still maintain their unique identities in the eyes of consumers, as only 1.5 percent of Opel customers would ever consider purchasing a Chevrolet. Chevy's President of Europe believes 85 percent of Europeans still consider Chevy an all-American brand compared to Opel and Vauxhill's reputation as very European brands. Both Opel and Chevrolet want to keep their client bases and GM is left at the helm trying to satisfy both automakers. Making Opel a premium brand may be the appropriate answer.

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