– Spanish King Felipe VI guest of honor at official start of production;
– Investment secures around 5,700 jobs at the Spanish plant;
– Already more than 275,000 orders for the successful sub-compact SUV.
Zaragoza, 12 September 2014 —— The successful subcompact SUV Opel Mokka is now manufactured in Europe: Today, Opel celebrated the official start of production in Zaragoza, Spain. Guest of honour at the ceremony was the Spanish King Felipe VI.
“Today is a good day for us. Producing the Mokka in Zaragoza helps us to better utilise our capacities in Europe and to serve our customers more quickly,” says Michael Lohscheller, Chief Financial Officer of the Opel Group. “Demand for the Mokka remains huge: we have received more than 275,000 orders since its market launch in the summer of 2012. This has made the SUV our third most important model within just two years. The Mokka embodies the appeal of our newest models and our brand’s comeback.”
In total, Opel plans to invest nearly 210 million Euros this year in the important Spanish manufacturing site. Last year 168 million Euros were invested. To make the Zaragoza plant ready for the Mokka production Opel invested 80 million in the initial phase. Since the opening of the plant in 1982 the investment totaled more than 4.3 billion Euros.
Manufacturing the sub-compact SUV in Spain will secure the around 5,700 jobs in the plant there. In addition to the Mokka, the Opel Corsa and Meriva models are also built in Zaragoza. With the fifth generation of the Corsa there will be another important production start this year.
The Zaragoza plant readied itself for the Mokka’s start of production in record time. After all, it was just one year ago that the decision to produce the car in Europe was announced.
The challenges this posed were mastered thanks to excellent international collaboration within General Motors. Up until now, the Mokka was produced solely in South Korea.
Manufacturing will start with CKD (Completely Knocked Down) parts kits from Korea, and then the amount of locally produced parts will be increased step by step in the coming years.
“Producing the Mokka here is in line with our company philosophy to build cars where we sell them,” explains Michael Lohscheller. “This year, around 20,000 Mokka will roll off the assembly line in Zaragoza. Next year this number will increase considerably.”
The Opel Mokka has been a real success right from its introduction. The stylish SUV has won over experts and customers alike. In both 2013 and 2014, readers of the automotive magazine Auto Bild voted the Mokka “All-wheel Drive Car of the Year” in the category “Off-road vehicles and SUVs under 25,000 euros”.
“The Mokka is a key part of our large model offensive,” says Lohscheller. “To 2018, we will introduce 27 new cars and 17 new engines as we grow our market share step by step.”
[Source : GM]