Opel Insignia concept
While Opel still offers the venerable Opel Omega in Europe, sales have tailed off greatly over the last few years. First of all, the current generation was introduced for the 1994 model year, and second, demand for mainstream brand E-Segment cars in Europe has decreased greatly.
In a way, this is analogous to the US market where demand for cars like the Ford Crown Victoria has dwindled greatly, with the model appealing mainly to senior citizens, police departments, and taxi fleets. In North America, it was GM that discontinued its large mainstream sedan, the Caprice, several years ago (unlike Ford in Europe, which killed off its E-Segment Scorpio several years back).
The Opel Insignia concept shows a possible replacement for the old Omega, and applies Opel’s current and more expressive design language to a large car. Part of the Omega’s problem was that it was a bland car with a mainstream brand name. The Insignia still has a mainstream brand name, being an Opel, but it does possess far more interesting styling than the Omega ever had. In addition, the Insignia puts an emphasis on functionality and utility, being a 5-door hatch much like the upcoming Citroen C6 and Opel’s own Signum.
The concept features sliding rear doors and no B-pillars for maximum access to and from the interior, and the interior is warm, inviting, and generally looks like an upscale place to be. Opel obviously wants the car to be thought of as an upscale device, as the concept features a cigar humidor and a refrigerator for two bottles of champagne.
Will Opel replace the Omega with this car, or will it abandon the segment completely, as Ford has done? This remains to be seen, but the Insignia is, if nothing else, an elegant look into what executive transport could become in the future.