Over R1-bn invested in Opel South Africa
Opel Germany has set up a wholly owned subsidiary, Opel South Africa (Pty) Ltd, which has invested over R700-million in parts, warranty and service plans for Opel customers in Southern Africa.
In addition to the German investment, Opel’s South African dealership network has announced a R20-million investment in corporate identity facility upgrades to bring the new Opel dealerships in line with the brand’s international look. Local listed giant Unitrans has the distributor rights for Opel in Southern Africa and has elected to employ local signage contractors to roll out the new brand identity.
“Opel wants to stimulate additional local job creation and support local business. Our local suppliers met the German required standards,” said Brian Hunter, general manager of Unitrans Opel Southern Africa. There are currently 35 fully operational Opel dealerships, with more expected to open over the next 60 months as the brand regains its traction locally.
Bill Mott, Opel’s director of international sales operations in Germany, indicated that the manufacturer is focused on growth in Southern Africa and has clear objectives to achieve this. “We view South Africa as a very important market,” Mott stated. “South Africa is a strategic investment for Opel and our aim is to take the brand from strength to strength in South Africa and other key markets.”
Brian Hunter added, “We are delighted that investment in the Opel brand in South Africa has now exceeded R1,5-billion when one combines the investment of Opel International, the Unitrans Opel distributor and the group of dealers. We estimate that this investment now employs over 1 000 people.”
Having been in South Africa for over
80 years, Opel is one of the oldest car brands operating in the country and it has built a solid reputation. The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) voted the Opel Astra as the South African Car of the Year for 2017 after it was also awarded Car of the Year for 2016 in 12 European countries, as well as Overall European Car of the Year for 2016.