General Motors Co’s losing money unit, Opel said on Thursday it will start to assembly Opel Corsa vehicles for eastern markets in Belarus starting next year.
Opel, which lost almost $18 billion beginning 1999, signed an agreement with JV UNISON JSC, and according to the partnership, the company wills assembly Corsa vehicles for eastern European markets, including Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The German automaker plans to assembly 7,000 units in the first year.
„We are now producing Corsas in Belarus according to our guiding principle – build where we sell. On top of that the delivery of assembly kits to an expanding market means more business for our facilities in Eisenach and Zaragoza”, says Opel Vice President Manufacturing Europe, Peter Thom.
Low sales in Europe, but GM plans to invest $4 billion
Situation in Europe is in the red-area as new car sales fell to a new low. Car sales in Western Europe fell by 5.6% in May, with the sales trend once again turning negative after April’s small gain. And the “great” news is that Germany’s car market – Europe’s largest and a relatively strong performer in recent years – has also declined by almost 10 percent in May.
In Germany Opel’s sales fell 16 percent compared to May 2012 according the country’s Federal Motor Vehicle Office.
However GM said in April it will invest 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in its European division by the end of 2016 in a try to bring it back to profit. According to the plan, Opel will introduce 23 new or redesigned vehicles and 13 new engines by the end of 2016.
Russia, a country where many automotive analysts predicted that may surpass Germany as Europe’s largest auto market fell in May 12 percent.