Opel wants to up its presence in South Africa - and it's just introduced a fresh, well-priced contender in the compact SUV segment to help the brand gain momentum. But will the new Grandland X be enough to turn Opel's local fortunes around?
It's been less than a year since General Motors divested from South Africa, leaving behind some the biggest brands on four wheels. Chevrolet is now lost to local motorists forever, while Opel continues, but under new stewardship.
In global terms, Opel never was the success story GM had hoped for when it took over the German carmaker. Despite some ambitious goals and strategies, the German company's losses mounted.
By the time GM announced its departure from SA, the US auto giant had already sold its Opel interests to the French PSA Group, producers of Peugeot and Citroën. From and SA point of view, that seemed to leave Opel's fortunes up in the air.
The good news for Opel fans, and owners of Opel cars, is that the brand is here to stay. It's now distributed and retailed by Unitrans Motors, a major player in the SA auto retail space.
Brian Hunter, general manager of...