Opel Wants To Conquer Europe In The Coming Years
|   Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Opel, the European brand of General Motors (GM), has proposed to reach second place in Europe in the coming years in terms of sales. To this end, the automaker will launch models able to attract the buyers.

"We're working on the biggest comeback story in the European auto industry. We've set ourselves clear goals. We want to profitably become the No. 2 in Europe." Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann declared in a speech at their plant in Eisenach, Germany.


Today, Opel is the third largest brand in the region after Volkswagen (VW) and Ford, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). The company's market share increased in the first three months of 2014 from 6.7 percent to 6.8 percent, while rival VW occupies a market share of 11.8 percent followed by Ford's 7.5 percent.

In the first quarter of this year, Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall, sold in Europe 226,888 vehicles, up by 8.5 percent from the same period of 2013. In March, Opel announced that it would withdraw from China, a decision that the head company termed as a little late. Therefore, shipments to China will cease in January 2015. In the last year, the 22 Opel dealers sold 4,365 vehicles in the Chinese market, compared to 810,000 Buick models sold by the American group General Motors.

Instead, Opel plans to invest 245 million euros (337 million dollars) in its main factory in Germany, Ruesselsheim, where two new models will be produced, including a Buick for the United States market. The decision is part of the strategy to reduce costs announced by General Motors.

Recently, the U.S. group announced that it would withdraw the Chevrolet brand in the markets of Western Europe and Eastern Europe from 2016 to make room for other two brands - Opel and Vauxhall. This withdrawal will lead to exceptional losses between 700 million and one billion dollars, which will stretch from the last quarter of 2013 to the first half of 2014.

The company announced in December that its Holden unit will stop producing cars in Australia. Opel has produced 3 million cars at the factory in Eisenach, Germany. To open the factory in this city in 1990, General Motors spent 1.2 billion euros. Currently, the plant produces the small Corsa and the subcompact Adam.
"Why aim only for a turnaround by 2016 if we can go further and say we want to be number two in Europe by 2022". Karl-Thomas Neumann said. Overall, the bottom line is "We want to grow faster than the market, to gain market share".

General Motors plans to recapture markets, including Europe, starting mid-decade. These forecasts appeared after the company lost more than 18 billion dollars in the region since 1999. Part of the plan was that Opel close its factory in Bochum. This is the first car factory closed in Germany since The Second World War. Meanwhile, engineers have reinvigorated the Insignia midsize car. This happened after the addition of the Adam city car, and the Mokka compact sport-utility vehicle.
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