Bob Lutz, vice chairman of General Motor’s Product Development and chairman of GM North America, announced at the Paris Motor Show that GM’s Opel Corsa subcompact will be coming to North America badged under its Saturn brand.The subcompact segment is hot in the U.S. right now. Rival automakers Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have all recently released subcompact models, all of which are selling in very good numbers. GM’s only offering in the segment is the Chevrolet Aveo, which is considered sub-par to the Honda Fit and Renault-based Nissan Versa.
According to Lutz, the Corsa, which has recently been redesigned, is now a car that will sell in the United States. Unfortunately, it will likely be a few years before the public sees the new subcompact. Because of the strong euro, importing Corsas from Europe is not practical while it will take time to set-up production at a plant in North America.
Our take? Good idea, bad execution. GM should throw some extra resources into getting production going so that it can get into the market while it’s hot. Unfortunately, too many of its plants are still tooled for light truck production and spare capacity for cars is sparse.