Europe: Opel posts best sales results since 2011 image

General Motors’ loss making regional unit Opel, together with British sister brand Vauxhall, announced that deliveries have risen last year by 3% to 1.08 million autos for the best yearly result since 2011.

The European division also claimed its best market share for the period – at 5.74 percent – according to the company even as slumping sales in Russia took a heavy toll on the results. According to the Ruesselsheim, Germany-based unit, “Russia is one of our most important markets,” comments sales chief Christian Kuespert, adding that executives are now increasingly optimistic about the prospects in 2015 after they managed to climb on a pan-European level in 2014. The unit suffered headwinds from the Russian situation – where political tensions, Western economic sanctions and a slowing economy led to a massive devaluation of the local currency.

General Motors is currently hard at work turning around its only money-losing division, with concerted efforts to return to profitability by mid-decade. Among the moves of note is the launch of the updated version of the Corsa subcompact model, the brand’s best-selling nameplate – and according to Opel’s statement 85,000 clients have ordered the car already. Additionally, the line-up at the base level will be supplemented by the newly announced entry-level model Karl that should hit dealerships this summer, while a fresh version of the compact Astra hatchback is also due by the end of the year. To focus on Opel and Vauxhall, GM also axed the Chevrolet nameplate in Europe, with the only notable exception being Russia.

Via Reuters, Bloomberg