The No. 1 US automaker, General Motors is tasking its loss-making European Opel division to build Buick cars that would then be sold in the United States.
This is one of the moves undertaken by the automaker to address GM CEO’s Mary Barra promise to start seeing positive financial results for the region starting with 2016. The European continent has been lagging behind much of the rest of the developed markets when it comes to post- financial crisis recovery – with many of the European countries now in economic turmoil again and Russia undergoing a deep political and economic collapse. The latter is also GM Europe’s third largest market after Germany and the UK – supplementing the Opel woes that has seen its factories running in recent years at just 70 percent capacity.
The widespread continental trouble offers a glimpse of hope for the GM Europe division, the prospect of a falling Euro-zone currency offers the carmaker an edge: exports towards the United States are now more competitive than before. GM recently announced that it decided to make a version of the Opel Cascada convertible in Gliwice, Poland to be sold in the United States as the Buick Cascada.
Additionally, Opel has announced it plans to introduce a new crossover vehicle at its plant in Ruesselsheim, Germany to succeed the former Zafira minivan – as the later segment has become unattractive to buyers across the European continent. Next up, the huge Ruesselsheim factory will also be in charge of producing a future Buick model that should reach the United States sometimes before the decade’s end.