Akerson Says GM Has the Right Management Team to Fix Opel image

GM CEO Dan Akerson said that the automaker finally has the right management team to fix Opel.

During the speech offered at the London School of Economics and Political Science yesterday, Akerson said that despite some analysts’ doubts, GM will not give up its loss making European unit. Last year he replaced several Opel executives and named GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky as the automaker’s interim Europe chief to come up with a turnaround plan and as the company’s CEO he named VW veteran Karl-Thomas Neumann.

“For those of you who understand American baseball, it was the farm team,” Akerson said of Opel’s former management. “We now have installed almost an entire new leadership team.”

A couple of days ago GM announced it will invest 4 billion euro in its European operations by 2016 to add new models, restore profit and increase market share in the region. Most part of the investment will be focused on the development of 23 Opel vehicles and 13 engines, which will help the automaker break even in Europe by mid-decade. Since 1999 GM has lost about $1 billion per year in Europe.

“We are not quitting. Tenacity pays off,” Akerson said.