It’s cold out.
The snow is mushy.
It’s a typical February day in Berlin. The first guests to arrive at the world premiere of the Crossland X in Kraftwerk this evening are frowning. Grumpy? “Of course, we’re in Berlin.” No matter how much of that traditionally sour Berlin attitude the 800 actors, lifestyle bloggers, social media influencers and journalists present at the event showed, the feline star of the show did them all one better. Grumpy Cat, the Opel brand ambassador, greeted the guests on the ‘red carpet’ (which, in keeping with the mood, was actually black) in fine form: As a giant inflatable statue. The frown on this 10-meter-high figure was as long as most of the stars in attendance are tall. This sight really lifted all of the guests’ spirits. “Grumpy is a true Berliner! She’s always in a bad mood. Maybe she’ll smile today?” asked a guest.
Let’s get this out of the way: No, she didn’t. Grumpy Cat, who, with 8.7 million Facebook fans, is the most famous and foul-tempered cat in the world, didn’t turn her little frown upside down that night. She’s just not impressed. Ever. Not when she’s petted by famous visitors, not when she’s facing flashing cameras, not by the brand-new crossover, not by GM Executive Vice President & President Europe Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann’s blue suit, and not by her own cat calendar.
Calendar? That’s right.
The world premiere of the Crossland X doubled as an exhibition for the ‘Georgia & Grumpy – Not impressed by Wonderland’ calendar. Star photographer Ellen von Unwerth shot 12 images for the calendar featuring Grumpy Cat and supermodel Georgia May Jagger. “During the photo shoot, I wished that Grumpy would smile just once – but unfortunately, that didn’t work out,” says von Unwerth. The resulting images are impressive precisely because of the juxtaposition of scowling cat and glamorous supermodel. So impressive, in fact, that the celebrity guests fell quiet for five seconds as the mystical, dreamy photos were projected onto the walls and the cold, industrial, exposed-concrete atmosphere inside Kraftwerk was filled with color.
A few minutes later, the guests fell quiet for even longer as GM Executive Vice President & President Europe Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann presented the Crossland X, unveiling the CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) to an explosion of flashbulbs. “Ladies and gentlemen, what a night! The Crossland X is the first of seven new models that we’ll be bringing onto the market in 2017. And it’s a new kind of Opel,” said Neumann. “It combines SUV features such as expressive design and an elevated seating position with efficiency.” It’s the first crossover, but it embodies everything that the Opel brand stands for: emotional design, top technology, and affordability.
“I love this car!”
This was Tina Müller’s statement as she walked onto the stage. “And I know from our market research that the Crossland X is particularly popular with women. Not just because they like the higher seating position, but also because of the Opel OnStar features, with the 24-hour concierge service. This car lets you feel like you’ve got a plush lifestyle, and it’s sure to be a huge success.” Müller then encouraged the premiere attendees to take a very close look at the car in the spotlight. Of course, the men present didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to discuss whether this was a ‘woman’s car’ or not.
“Of course it’s not just a car for women,” said actress Roman Knižka (known for the German TV series Tatort and SOKO) with certainty. She laughed when she emphasized ‘just’. “What I love about it is that it’s both an all-rounder and a cool city car. When you sit in it, you feel like the Crossland X can do more than it wants to show you right off the bat. That’s what makes it appealing.” However, it’s still accessible, because it’s not “over the top” like cars from other brands. Adds Knižka, with a glance at the lateral lines: “I really like how Opel is continuing to move forward.”
Also present on the stage was Opel’s Head of Design, Marc Adams, observing the stars’ reactions. “I’ve been to countless car premieres, but this here is something special. It feels like a fashion show,” he said with excitement. The car unites the worlds of fashion and automotive mechanics in high style. “The Crossland X was an exciting project for the team,” says Adams of the 4.21-meter-long crossover, which will be manufactured at the Opel plant in Saragossa, Spain. “I’m certain that choosing to design this car in a functional way, which posed a great challenge, will pay off,” said Adams.
Especially since this functional design looks so good. “For us women, a car has to look nice. What I like about Crossland X is its harmonious design,” said actress Nadja Uhl of the car. For instance, she liked the new car’s two-tone coloring – it features a black roof and a white chassis. Meanwhile, Uhl’s fellow actor Tim Wilde addressed the man/woman divide with a cheeky grin: “The OPC engine will definitely make this a real man’s car.” He particularly likes the high-value tactile sensation you get when you pet the car’s surfaces.
Even when it came to that, Grumpy Cat didn’t crack a smile. Hanging on the arm of her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, the famous cat simply frowned at the Crossland X. “She really likes to ride in cars, though,” said Bundesen, who is from the States. It won’t be long until Grumpy Cat can ride along in a Crossland X: The CUV will come soon.