“Founded in 1862 by Adam Opel, the German manufacturer has been around for 150 years and has been producing cars for well over a century. Well established then. Until recently that is, because Opel hasn’t been profitable in Europe for over a decade and has become an unsightly red figure on the balance sheet of parent company General Motors. High overheads and with market share under increasing pressure from competitors such as Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co., a drawn-out rescue effort in the wake of GM’s bankruptcy is underway, which includes discussions of factory closures and staff layoffs, all in an effort to reach break-even.
Amid all the corporate cunning, fancy financial footwork, an air of uncertainty surrounding the company’s future and how it will emerge from it’s own financial crisis, the fact is, Opel is still making cars. For a while now the South African model range has been limited to just three, namely; the Astra, Corsa and Vivaro. That is soon to change though, this month in fact, with the arrival of the new Meriva compact-MPV, as well as the three-door Astra GTC. If you’re in the market for a fast, performance offering from Opel, well, the Astra OPC left us a while ago now, which means the responsibility somewhat ironically lies with the smallest car, the Corsa OPC.
Now in its fourth generation (we didn’t see the first here in SA), the Corsa has been kept fresh since its introduction in 2008: with a more powerful 1.4-litre engine; the 3-door Colour Edition; and for 2011, a revised front-end with “Eagle Eye” headlights to match those of the latest Astra. The range-topping OPC variant has also been kept up-to-date in this regard, although the engine and mechanicals have remained unchanged.” read the full review on SA Car Fan.