Opel Germany has established a new subsidiary Opel South Africa (Opel SA), which has invested more than R700-million into parts, warranty and service plans for Opel customers in Southern Africa.
In addition, Opel SA’s dealership network has announced a R20-million investment in corporate identify facility upgrades to bring the new Opel dealerships in line with the brand’s international “look and feel”.
JSE-listed Unitrans, which has distributor rights for Opel in Southern Africa, will employ local signage contractors to roll out the new Opel brand identity and improved customer experience centres.
“Opel wants to stimulate additional local job creation and support local business, and our local suppliers met the German required standards,” comments Unitrans’ Opel Southern Africa GM Brian Hunter.
General Motors, which previously handled the distribution for German brand Opel, withdrew from various right-hand-drive markets, including South Africa, in 2017, and subsequently Opel used the opportunity to refocus its dealership network in South Africa.
There are currently 35 fully operational Opel dealerships, with more expected to open over the next 60 months, as the brand regains its local traction.
Opel Germany international sales operations director Bill Mott indicates that Opel is focused on growth in Southern Africa and views South Africa as a very important market.
"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 Opel dealers. We estimate that this investment [has now resulted in the employment of] more than 1 000 people,” he stated.