Production of the Opel Mokka will move from Korea to Spain in 2014 in a bid by General Motors to boost its ailing and underutilised European operations.
The Opel Mokka compact SUV – badged as a Vauxhall Mokka in other markets – arrives locally in October. Once here, it will belatedly join its Chevrolet Trax-based sister car, the Holden Trax, due to land next month.
Industry journal Automotive News Europe reports that production of the Opel Mokka will switch from its current base at GM Daewoo’s Bupyeong plant in Korea, to Opel's Zaragoza factory in Spain from mid-2014.
According to the report, GM has said the production shift would help meet high European demand for the Mokka as well as free up capacity at the Bupyeong facility.
Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said in a statement that the decision to transfer Mokka manufacturing was part of GM's strategy of building vehicles where they are sold.
Aimed at addressing Opel’s current capacity underutilisation in Europe, Neumann said "[the decision] is good news for the entire organisation."
The move is also said to aid in safeguarding 5800 jobs at the Spanish plant.
While GM builds its own Chevrolet Trax SUVs at its plant in Silao, Mexico, Opel Australia's head of marketing and public relations, Michelle Lang, said our Mokka will be produced in Korea with only some markets to receive models produced in Spain.
"At the moment we have no indication of which markets specifically will be catered for by the Zaragoza plant," Lang said.
Holden Australia says it will source the Holden Trax from Korea from its mid-August launch, and continue to source it from the Bupyeong plant in 2014. It has no plans to build the Trax in Australia.