GM said it still plans to move Opel up market in Europe, at the same time creating a place for its mainstream Chevrolet nameplate.
Alan Batey, Chevy’s new global chief, said that GM still plans to increase pricing as it prepares to roll off new Opel vehicles, in an attempt to improve the situation of the money-losing automaker. GM plans to build on the previous success of the Mokka small SUV and the Adam minicar, and then make more room for Chevrolet to operate in a market where its sales have been limited. Opel has been losing money in Europe for three consecutive years.
“We need to rebuild the (Opel) brand,” Batey said. “As we do that, that gives us the opportunity to move Opel and Vauxhall up a little bit, which creates potentially a value opportunity” for Chevy. We try and make sure we have as little overlap as possible.”
Edward Jones analyst Christian Mayes, believes that even if GM has an advantage after it purchased the European auto lending operations of Ally Financial, which means better loan terms and maybe more customers attracted by offers, the automaker still needs to work on differentiating the Opel and Chevy brands.This is not GM’s first attempt to push Opel higher in Europe, where the US automaker expects the loss-making unit to hit the break-even level by mid-decade.