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 |  Aug 31 2010, 3:34 PM

General Motors is hoping to expand their Opel nameplate beyond its traditional European markets to places like China, Australia, South America and other unspecified Asian countries.

GM is hoping to leverage Opel’s premium brand image to expand its lineups in places where the General lacks a foothold in that market segment. Chevrolet (and Holden) are the sole brands operated by GM in these areas, with the exception of China.

China poses a particular conundrum, since Buick enjoys enormous social cachet in the 1 billion strong country, where the pre-Communist Emperors drove Buicks exclusively. Many Buicks are also derived from Opel products, which may pose a problem for GM, which now must position two premium brands head to head with one another.

General Motors sold 4,000 Opels in China last year as a trial run, and the company is optimistic about the brand’s fortunes. “We will market Opel as a European designed car in the premium segment,” an Opel official told Deutsche Welle. “There are a growing number of Chinese who like European cars and have the money to afford them.”

[Source: Left Lane News]