MADRID –will build the Opel Mokka small cross/utility at its Zaragoza, Spain, assembly plant, Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann is expected to reveal today.
The announcement of a €200 million ($256 million) investment to produce the model is to be made as part of a visit to the plant Wednesday by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The Mokka currently is assembled, along with the Chevrolet Trax, at the GM Korea’s Bupyeong, South Korea, plant, and company sources say that about 100,000 orders have been received in the less than six months the vehicle has been on the market.
The strong demand has prompted GM to look for additional capacity in order to avoid longer delivery delays.
The Zaragoza plant, which has capacity for 500,000 units annually, has been impacted severely by the decline in new-car demand in Spain and throughout Europe. Production for 2013 is forecast at only 270,000 units.
Output of the Mokka is expected to start in mid-2014 or early 2015. Production of the new Corsa also will launch next year at the Zaragoza plant, complementing current output of the Meriva model.
Addition of the Mokka could help to recover the 200 or so jobs lost at the plant in recent years. However, lagging demand for the Meriva could force additional cutbacks at the facility that could offset any employment increases resulting from the Mokka.
With the three models in production, Zaragoza output is expected to reach 400,000 units annually, or about 70%-80% of the installed capacity.