Opel back in Russia: what went wrong?

Opel, which came under the wing of the PSA concern, announced its return to the Russian market in February 2019. The start of sales was scheduled for the fourth quarter, and formally it took place on schedule: prices for crossovers Opel Grandland X and minibuses Opel Zafira Life announced on December 16. However, new Opels are still not found on Russian roads. According to AEB, in the first half of 2020, we sold only 59 Opel cars. Only Foton, Chrysler and smart, which is leaving the Russian market, were able to implement less. Failure or false start?

In the Opel company, it is not unreasonable to associate such a modest result with the pandemic: factories were stopped, dealerships were closed, and consumer activity fell to zero. But this is not the only reason. Relatively on time (at the beginning of 2020), only Opel Zafira Life minibuses of Kaluga production appeared on sale, and then only in the richest Cosmo configuration for 3.0—3.1 million rubles. Simpler versions (from 2.6 million) arrived only by the end of spring, but even now Zafira is offered in Russia only with “automatic”, while the related models Peugeot Traveller and Citroen SpaceTourer are also with a manual transmission.

Other Opel models were supposed to appear on our market in mid-spring, but the pandemic prevented them. Production of Opel Vivaro vans in Kaluga began in March, just before the plant was closed for quarantine. At the same time, vehicle type approval (otts) was issued for the Opel Grandland x crossover, but deliveries of cars from Germany had to be postponed. As a result, according to sellers, both Vivaro (from 1.67 million rubles) and Grandland X (from 1.95 million rubles) began to arrive in the dealer network only in July and have not yet appeared in all car dealerships (the most effective were car dealerships in St. Petersburg).

And the Opel dealer network in Russia is still very weak: according to the official website, there are only ten car dealerships in seven cities. By the end of the year, the company plans to have 13 dealerships. But even in Moscow, all three existing car dealerships are multi-brand, where Opels are under the same roof with cars of other brands.

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The sellers we spoke to told us that they keep the minimum set of cars available. Most of them are delivered from the Central warehouse under the order, the delivery Time is about ten working days. So those who want to buy Opel should be patient. Opel is not yet ready to publish a further work plan for the Russian market.

What is clear is that we will not have the current Opel Astra and Insignia models: all rights to them belong to the General Motors concern, which has banned the sale of these cars in the “new markets”. From the new range, created already under the patronage of PSA, in the European market, Opel has a Corsa hatchback, CROSSLAND x and Mokka parquettes, as well as a” heel ” Combo. It is possible that we will see some of these models in Russia.

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