The Power of Insignia

Beginning on February 20,

the Insignia can be ordered as a Grand Sport sedan or as a Sports Tourer station wagon.

There are seven days to go before the Insignia’s official world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show, yet hundreds of employees in the auditorium in Rüsselsheim on this Tuesday morning have just received a full briefing on figures, data, facts, and a face-to-face with the flagship in its Grand Sport and Sports Tourer versions. Thomas Benkner (Marketing), Niels Loeb (Design), Chiara Sardone and Thomas Lipp (Engineering) and Frank Leibold (Marketing) unveiled the second generation of the Insignia – and showed how the new flagship will challenge competitors all the way into the premium class.


Outstanding Design


 

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“The proud front part of the new Insignia is a knockout. Super slim lights, a wide, steeply laid radiator grill – this gives the car a very self-assured aura. It’s obvious that the Monza Concept is the force behind that. And an special praise for the colleagues who have created more space for the legs, shoulders and the head of the inmates despite the extremely coupé-like look.”

 

Falk Zimpel (27)
Commercial Finance

 

 


0.26

A drag coefficient of 0.26 makes the Insignia one of the most aerodynamic models in its class.

Some impressions turn the thoughts in our heads into wild rodeo stallions. Taming them and steering them takes a few moments. That’s what it’s like to look at both of the new versions of the Insignia. Because, and you really do have to ask just what in the world are they up to? That’s the Insignia Grand Sport. Even though it’s a five-door model, it could pass for a three-door coupe. “We have provided the Insignia with a mixture of elegance and athleticism, that makes even higher-class cars look pale,” says Head Exterior Designer Niels Loeb. “It offers more interior space, for both passengers and luggage, while at the same time cutting a sporty figure.” The front is familiar to you? Sure, a highly praised concept car was the force behind it. Loeb: “Wide radiator grill, slim lights, steep side view – this is a Monza Concept face.“

“Our Insignia looks as athletic as a rear-wheel-drive car.”

One fine design detail that makes the difference is the beading on the side. The previous model had a contour just in front of the front wheels, and the new Insignia has this feature on the rear wheels. This creates a powerful effect, explains Loeb. “Now our Insignia looks as athletic as a rear-wheel-drive car.” The same applies to the Sports Tourer, which, starting at the B-column, is oriented strongly toward its oft-praised godfather: the Monza Concept. Loeb says, “We were successful in meticulously working out the widest possible trunk opening while retaining a striking elegance.” One of the solution details here is a shiny chrome silhouette line that runs from the A-column to the rear and continues on into the rear lights.


More Cargo Room


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“I’m excited! Our people really took a close look into where they could improve on previous models even more, and that’s just what they’ve done. Starting with fewer buttons in the interior, to adding space in the cargo area. The load volume of the Sports Tourer has grown to whopping 1,665 liters. And as the father of a family, it’s this additional space that made the difference for me. So far, the Astra was my favorite. This has definitely changed with the new Insignia Sports Tourer!”

 

Jerome Cessan (30)
Formability Engineer and Analyst

 

 


75 percent

of all Insignia customers in the United Kingdom order the sedan. In Germany, however, 80 out of 100 customers go for the station wagon version.

Insignia drivers are typically men, most of them are fleet customers, and their interests vary widely from country to country – in the UK you mostly drive sedan, in Germany station wagon. Knowing all about Insignia customers and what they want is the job of Thomas Benkner at Opel Product Marketing. And because his team knows precisely what customers need, they fed developers specifications to that end for the Insignia A’s successor: more efficiency in terms of weight, increased space in the interior, and a reworked cockpit.

“A top car with an endless amount of highlights!”

Benkner has had the result of these specifications in the garage for the last three weeks, and his excitement makes him want even more: “I can only say that it’s awesome! A top car with an endless amount of highlights! Our employees in the lighting department have really outdone themselves with the matrix light. Driving it feels great, very dynamic and sporty. And the whole package comes with an absolutely dynamic, modern look.” And that’s not just the Benkner’s exclusive opinion as a marketing specialist. The Insignia’s appearance won out in various product clinics with customers, even in direct comparison with the competition. Benkner says, “The Insignia turned in an outstanding performance.”


Great Premium Features


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“I’m really impressed by all of the features that you’d normally only expect in the premium segment. Especially the heads-up display that projects information about speed, traffic signs and navigation onto the windshield, right in the driver’s field of vision. This keeps your eyes on the road. I also think the 360-degree camera is very practical because it offers a bird’s-eye view and makes parking so much easier.”

Elise Dubisz
Design Operations

 


The Grand Sports weighs

175 kilograms

less than its predecessor. The Sports Tourer has lost up to 200 kilograms.

Thomas Lipp and Chiara Sardone enter the stage of the auditorium and juggle with figures and facts about package and weight with apparent ease. Any detail of the technical features – they simply knock it out with a big smile. Lipp and Sardone are Program Managers for the new flagship. And all with a smile. It’s no wonder really. Being the bearer of good news is a pretty fun job. When talking about millimeter measurements for leg and headroom, he talks about how those numbers have gone up; when he talks about weight, he talks about how the figures have gone down. Lipp says, “We found the biggest weight savings in the body shell – it’s 59 kilograms at the sedan, and 75 kilograms at the Sports Tourer.”

“No competitor can offer as many technical features as the new Insignia.”

The Program Manager uses a table to show what the new Insignia opposes its competitors when it comes to assistance systems. The result is impressive: “No competitor can offer as many technical features as the new Insignia.” The Program Manager does not only have a soft spot for numbers, he is also a car guy – and hence, he can easily calculate the driving characteristics: “A weight reduction of up to 200 kilograms, solely engines of the latest generation, a seating position for the driver lowered by 29 millimeters – the Insignia is pure driving pleasure. ”


Focusing on the Pleasure of Driving


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“The Grand Sport is the right car for me. My colleagues who designed it apparently think just like I do, because my kind of car has to be sporty and dynamic. The Grand Sport practically screams from the stage, Drive me! And the design is crazy beautiful. I always thought that I’d have to be older before I could drive an Insignia. But now I say, I’ll take one right now!”

Brian Oswald (28)
Formability Engineer and Analyst

 


How to increase covetousness? Marketing specialist Frank Leibold gives an answer consisting of two words: “By individualizing.“ Whether muesli, sneakers or ski helmets – many manufacturers let the customers personalize the product, make them the kings. And Opel is also doing this. With the Insignia, the new Opel Exclusive program is introduced: Customers can choose from an infinite number of color options and thus make their vehicle a unique eyeturner. “The car can match the color of the favorite tie or reflect the eye color of the partner – everything is possible,“ says Leibold, Group Manager European Marketing Individualization & Accessoires.

“Thanks to Opel Exclusive
we completely turn customers into kings.“

Not only the exterior color can be customized, but also tires and seat covers. Opel allows customers to compile a wide variety of features and options to assemble a car by themselves – at the dealership or at the online configurator. Leibold says: “This is also an exclamation mark for potential buyers, who are more likely in favor of the premium segment.“

900,000

The first generation Insignia is the Car of the Year 2009 of which more than 900,000 have been sold.


Major Media Attention


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The first photos and information about the Grand Sport came out on December 7, with details about the Sports Tourer following on February 6. There was a major splash in the media. Here is a selection of just the European car magazines alone that put the Insignia on their cover.

 

March 2017

Text: Andreas Wollny, Tina Henze; Photos: Opel, Martina Sabais