Opel and Vauxhall, the two former GM brands acquired by French automaker PSA prior to its merger with FCA, revealed this week that the two brands will offer only electric cars in Europe as of 2028. The German brand, just weeks after showcasing a very cheerful Manta EV retromod, also announced that it would reenter the Chinese market and offer only electric vehicles there.
“As of 2028, Opel will only offer electric cars in our core market Europe,” said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller during the Stellantis EV Day earlier this week. “This clearly shows the commitment of the Opel brand to electric mobility. The future of the automotive industry is electric—and Opel is part of that. We are on a journey to reinventing Opel and transforming ourselves into a young, green, and global brand. Opel is moving from cold to cool. We are heading towards a net zero CO2 future as CO2 is the new currency in our industry.”
Of course, Opel has a presence in more individual markets than solely in the region it calls Europe, accounting for over four dozen countries in total, so it’s still leaving itself some room to maneuver when it comes to gas-engined models. Just how extensive its gas-engined offerings will be in countries where it won’t offer only EVs remains to be seen. It is by no means guaranteed that all countries where Opel has a presence will have significant EV adoption rates by 2028, and this goes for a number of countries very close to its home in Germany.
Opel’s planned return to China is more or less a necessity in the coming years, though it will be rejoining a market that’s becoming increasingly filled by domestic electrics and plug-in hybrids. The Chinese auto market of 2021 is not the same as even that of 2011, so Opel will have some ground to make up. It certainly helps that other PSA brands like Peugeot and Citroën have a presence there already, including manufacturing facilities, so it won’t be starting from scratch.
“We promised that Opel will go global—and we will deliver. China is the largest automotive market in the world and we are sure that we will grow profitably there. Chinese customers can look forward to our products and our emotional German brand,” Lohscheller added.
PSA’s Vauxhall plans to sell only EVs in the UK from 2028 as well, with a lineup of nine electric or electrified models on the menu at the moment shared with Opel. The automaker points out that the Vauxhall Corsa-e has been the best-selling battery-electric supermini in the UK in the first six months of this year. Later this year the company will also offer something not many other automakers will have: a choice of two battery-electric light commercial vans, in the form of the Combo-e and Movano-e. By 2024 its whole lineup will offer electrified versions of its vehicles, and EVs only from 2028 onward.
“As of 2028, Vauxhall will only offer fully electric cars and vans in the UK,” said Paul Willcox, managing director of Vauxhall Motors. “The future of the automotive industry is electric—and Vauxhall will lead that in this country.”
Earlier this week Stellantis also announced that the Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, UK, which has produced Vauxhall vehicles for decades, will become the automaker’s first all-EV plant, slated to build vehicles for four Stellantis brands.
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