Years of economic incertitude took the car industry to a two-decade low, but now the rebound has finally grasped the European region, even as political instability plagues Ukraine and Russia.
During the announcement for the second-quarter profit earnings, GM also talked about its ailing European business, reiterating its previous goal to return to profitability in Europe “by mid-decade.” The ACEA European auto industry group released figures for last month’s sales, showing that across the continental Europe deliveries for new passenger cars climbed for the tenth consecutive month, signaling the overall economies are finally exiting the years of the sovereign debt crisis. Still, so far sales are 19% behind the levels accounted in 2007, while according to consultancy AlixPartners car plants in the region only function at an average 72% capacity.
“Excluding the impact of restructuring, the losses in Europe were roughly $100 million, consistent with last year,” said GM Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens. He added that results are “a pretty strong performance considering the incremental headwinds we have this year because of Russia.”
Part of a strategy that includes a greater utilization of jointly developed designs and common parts from GM’s other brands, Opel is now ready to introduce 27 models and 17 new engines in the period to 2018.