Opel plans Monza SUV flagship, reports say

The Monza SUV could have headlights and air inlets similar to the Monza concept, pictured.

FRANKFURT -- Opel plans to add a large SUV/crossover as a flagship model, German press reports said.

The SUV would go into production in 2017 and start at 26,000 euros, slightly more than the General Motors subsidiary's Insignia mid-sized sedan, reports said.

Opel will build the SUV at its plant in Ruesselsheim, German magazine Auto Bild reported today.

Internally, the crossover is called the Monza, the same name as a coupe concept unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show. Although the body shape has changed, the Monza will retain styling details from the concept including chrome detailing on the grille and similarly shaped headlights and air inlets, Auto Bild said.

Opel did not immediately comment on the reports when contacted by Automotive News Europe.

GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker will add production of another model at Ruesselsheim during a visit to the factory in January. She declined to give any details of the model "for competitive reasons." Barra said that production of the new vehicle would "go hand-in-hand" with additional spending in Germany.

GM has said it plans to invest 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to fund 23 new models and 13 new engines by 2016 to overhaul Opel's aging product range.

The Ruesselsheim plant currently builds the Insignia and is scheduled to start producing the Zafira Tourer minivan in 2015.

The Monza SUV will share underpinnings with a model from GM's Buick brand and offer gasoline and diesel engines from the Insignia, Auto Bild reported. It would be just under 5000mm long.

The Insignia, currently the largest model in Opel's range, starts at 24,130 euros.

You can reach David Jolley at djolley@crain.com

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