Opel To Withdraw From Chinese Market By The End Of This Year
|   Friday, April 04, 2014
The Germans from Opel will withdraw from the Chinese market by the end of the current year. The controversial decision comes amid extremely weak sales of the German brand, which last year delivered to the land of the Great Wall just 4,365 cars, 20 times less than its sister brand Buick.

U.S. group General Motors thus continues its careful appraisal program of the presence and relevance of brands from its portfolio on markets around the world. In December, GM had taken a similar decision for the Chevrolet brand, which will be withdrawn permanently from Europe by the end of next year, a move designed to end domestic cannibalizing with Opel / Vauxhall.


Opel chief Karl Thomas Neumann, believes that abandoning the Chinese market is a natural decision that should have been taken long ago.
Strengthening the image, not exactly brilliant, of the Opel brand in China, and expanding dealer networks would have cost hundreds of millions of euro, funds that Opel does not currently have. The
German company's money will be channeled this way to its native country, where Opel plans to invest 245 million euro in the plant at Ruesselsheim, its main factory in Germany. There will be two models produced there, including a Buick model for the United States market, a premiere for Opel.

"With the investment in a new, additional model for Rüsselsheim, we will take another important step in our multi-billion dollar model offensive with which we will pave the way for Opel's profitable growth," said GM President Dan Ammann in a statement.

Under the new strategy, the European division of General Motors group will focus on promoting the Opel / Vauxhall brand and re-launching the luxury brand Cadillac.
On the Chinese market, the Opel brand has been present since 1993. Never did it grow beyond a small niche volume in the country, accounting for less than 1 percent of General Motors sales in the market last year. In 2013, in terms of sales, General Motors was topped by Volkswagen AG, on the Chinese market for the first time in nine years. Therefore, it was necessary to reorganize all the brands, to give more focus on its worldwide offerings.

"What GM is doing is to try to make it clearer who's responsible for what," said Erich Hauser, a automotive analyst at London-based International Strategy & Investment Group. "By pulling Opel out of China, you just make it clear that Opel is a European brand, for the European market and with the aim of making money in Europe."
Right now, General Motors sells more vehicles in China, the world's biggest market, than in any other country. Last year, they unveiled plans to invest 11 billion dollars in China on new factories, employees and products.

"This is a long overdue decision," said Karl-Thomas Neumann, Opel boss, in a statement. "It would have cost hundreds of millions of euros to raise awareness of the Opel brand and to expand the distribution network. Buick, however, is one of the market leaders in China and we plan to intensify our future collaboration."
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