Opel Plans to Build 20,000 Fuel-cell Luxury Sedans for 2016

According to Opel’s deputy chairman, the GM-owned German carmaker has plans to bring a TOL (Top-Of the Line) sedan to market by 2016, which would be, in his words, a “technological spearhead” for the brand, bringing together fuel-cells, electric batteries, and other state-of-the-art technologies into a package that he believes the German brand could sell in big numbers.

In an interview with Automotive News, Opel’s Klaus Franz offered that Opel is seen, in Europe, as a green-tech innovator because of its sold-out Chevy Volt twin.  “Already with the our Ampera electric vehicle, we have shown what we are able to do and enjoy an advantage of two to three years compared to the competition.”

Franz sees annual sales of 20,000 for the model as “realistic” for the TOL Opel, which is huge, compared to the only 200 (two-hundred) FCX Clarity fuel-cell Hondas that company plans to build over the next three years (check the right-hand menu).  Franz said Opel’s “other priorities”, however, would take precedent over the TOL, including the upcoming Opel Junior, a new Opel (formerly, Saturn) Astra coupe, and a small SUV.  “The TOL,” he adds, “is a luxury.”

Expect Opel’s TOL to make a more formal debut at the next Frankfurt show, and to borrow heavily from the well-received (and Volt-based) Flextreme GT/E concept car.  Here’s hoping GM has the good sense to bring the thing stateside as some kind of new, green Chevy Impala (although I wouldn’t hold my breath).

Source:  Automotive News;  Image:  Opel.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.