Gm: “opel will still be part of the group in 10 or 15 years’ time”
The general motors (gm) automotive group has ied a guarantee of continued existence to its opel subsidiary, but the russelsheim company is being thwarted in the attractive brazilian market. Gm relies there on the chevrolet.
The good news was brought back by hesse’s minister president volker bouffier (cdu) from his trip to the usa. Opel will "definitely still be part of the group in 10 or 15 years," gm vice president robert ferguson said friday (local time) after a meeting in detroit with the cdu politician. Ferguson stressed, "normally, we don’t like to make forecasts over such a long time horizon. But opel is such a valuable building block of our group that i have no problem making this prediction."The german sites are an outstanding part of the group and centers for design and research. "That’s why i see a bright future for opel."Among other things, hesse’s head of government had visited wisconsin, hesse’s partner region, and met with gm people.
In ubersee gm shows however further borders to the germans and prefers chevrolet. The automobile week (monday) opel ceo karl-friedrich stracke said: "we will not go into brazil, we will leave that to chevrolet."He did not want to evaluate the decision from detroit. Brazil is gm’s third most important market after china and the u.S., the paper reported. Thanks to rapid growth, the brazilian car market will overtake germany this year.
Opel will have to focus on argentina and chile, according to the company’s headquarters in south america. Stracke explained that the company is working on market expansion there: "we want to sell the first cars in chile by the end of this year."The russelsheim-based company also plans to supply israel. In china, the world’s most important growth market, opel will in future be allowed to sell cars but not produce them.
For the electric model ampera there would be even more restrictions. It says the car will be sold under the opel brand only in europe. Outside, the car will be used exclusively as a chevrolet volt, opel’s electric manager enno fuchs told the automobilwoche. The ampera will also not be available in russia. Fuchs cited the high russian import duties as the reason for this.
Opel ceo stracke expects a significant slowdown in the automotive industry this year. According to the radio station swr2 he said that the trend would continue in 2012. Opel will nevertheless be able to report profits. In the future, the company will focus strongly on sustainable products and electric drives.