Opel Astra

Flexible Luggage Compartment
Believe two interior specialists: The Astra’s luggage compartment is really worth opening! The interior design team at Bertrandt Rüsselsheim provided support for the development of a flexible luggage compartment concept for the Astra family for Opel and Johnson Controls. The new Opel Astra combines an emotive design with modern functionality, which is reflected in the flexible rear design of the GTC, saloon and estate models.

 

Frontloading optimises interior panel trim components

Opel implemented its new supplier integration strategy in full for the first time in the development of the new Astra. By choosing its external partners at an early stage, the company aimed to ensure that even during the development of the design surfaces the requirements of production were taken into account. An additional objective was to ensure that the use of the best possible surface design and of appropriate materials in the luggage compartment area would make a high quality impression without sacrificing storage space. This in particular applied to the Caravan estate model, with its newly developed easy opening system for the luggage compartment cover, in which a version of the FlexOrganizer system from the Vectra was used.

Surface development in the luggage compartment area
Opel chose Bertrandt as its development partner for the surface design. This meant that the engineering of the luggage compartment area components for Johnson Controls and the surface development were both handled by one service provider. Bertrandt was able to apply its extensive experience for the customer’s benefit. The internal cooperation between engineering and surface development went very smoothly. Communication routes in Rüsselsheim are short and the teams have been working together for years. The close cooperation between Opel design and development enabled the package to be exploited to the full, in spite of tight deadlines.

Luggage space blind with comfort opening in Astra Caravan
Good accessibility: the luggage space in the Opel Astra three-door and five-door model

Integration of RZM, easy opening concept and sliding seat
During the project phase, weekly coordination meetings were held at Bertrandt, which were attended by the relevant project engineers from Opel, Johnson Controls, suppliers, subcontractors and the Opel designers. The panel trims of the rear zone module (RZM) posed a particular challenge for all three models. The RZM is an electronics module that contains a large number of fuses. As a result, the side trim panels had to meet two criteria:

 

  • The trim panels had to have a large opening so that the module is easily accessible.
  • The trim panels had to be sufficiently robust to protect the RZM from being damaged by items shifting in the boot area.


Three additional factors had to be taken into account for the Astra estate model:

  • The development and integration of an easy opening system that retracts the luggage compartment cover at the push of a button. The Bertrandt engineers developed a variety of concepts and variants for this system.
  • Robust trim panels and mountings for the FlexOrganizer system, which divides up the luggage compartment area and ensures that smaller items can be transported securely.
  • The incorporation of a sliding seat that gives rear passengers plenty of legroom or, when pushed forward, makes the luggage compartment area correspondingly large. Because of the choice of component separators and joints, only two additional trim panels are needed on each side.
Folded backseat with a featurebox

Development of the "Feature Box" storage facility
Other trim panel components were developed for the optional storage compartment under the luggage compartment floor area. Bertrandt also provided support for the development of the entire luggage compartment area, including the "Feature Box" special storage container, for the five-door and GTC models and the load surface of the Caravan model.

The challenge was to ensure the best possible utilisation of space in the smallest possible design envelope. By working closely with Opel and its suppliers, the engineers were able to implement a special storage box for the 5-door and GTC models that contains several compartments and can also be used to store the hook for the tow bar.

 

The most important factor in the design and development of the estate load surface was to take into account the different seat concepts, in order to ensure that the best possible utilisation was made of the luggage area. An additional consideration was to keep the parts costs low and the quality high, and to ensure that the manufacturing tools were cost-effective.

Innovative storage concept
The Opel Astra offers carefully designed solutions for people on the move. With its special storage box, FlexOrganizer system and sliding seat, the Astra luggage compartment area fulfils all the requirements of a modern storage system.