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OFFICIAL: Opel stays in South Africa as Williams Hunt takes over


After months of speculation following its sale from General Motors (GM) to the PSA Group in March, Opel has announced that is has appointed Williams Hunt to distribute its products in South Africa from January 2018.

This comes less than a month after GM confirmed it will leave the local market by the end of 2017, ending production of the Chevrolet Spark and Utility at its Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth, as well as the Chevrolet brand, and selling its business to Isuzu Motors, who will continue producing the KB bakkie and several medium to heavy duty trucks locally.

"Opel has had great success in South Africa. Many of our models have enjoyed great popularity among the buying public and have received rewards and acclaim from the motoring press," company Director General of International Operations, Bill Mott, said at a press briefing held in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We view South Africa as an important market. We are confident that the brand will continue to grow from strength to strength globally, and here in South Africa, because of the solid foundation that has been built in the 80-plus years Opel has been here".

In announcing its commitment to the country, the Russelsheim based automaker also confirmed that sales of its recently launched Crossland X will commence during the second half of 2017, followed by the bigger Grandland X in early 2018.

It also stated that no changes will be made to existing vehicle warranties, and that after sales support would also remain in place. A total of 35 Williams Hunt dealers, mostly in urban areas, have been commissioned to sell and look after Opel vehicles from next year.  

"Williams Hunt has been a major and outstanding Opel partner in South Africa for many years contributing to some 20 per cent of the sales already today. With this setup Opel plans to further grow in South Africa and strengthen brand and service to its customers," the company said.

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