It seems that Opel, GM’s European unit, might break even before its previous target date, which is 2016.
Opel might take advantage of GM’s fallout from the massive recall which is estimated to make the automaker lose $1.3 billion. GM’s European unit has been reporting declining sales and heavy losses over the years, becoming theUSautomaker’s biggest headache. GM decided to bring a team led by Karl-Thomas Neumann, former VW executive, close a factory in Germany, release 23 new models by 2016 and invest at least $6 billion in Europe.
“At the moment we are seen as a benchmark because of the holistic way with which we have approached the turnaround,” Mr. Neumann said. “Last year, for the first time in years, we not only met our targets, we surpassed them.”
It seems that this strategy worked out, as Opel’s sales in 2013 stopped falling and during the first two months of this year EU sales of the Vauxhall and Opel brands increased by 3%. Karl-Thomas Neumann said he keeps its initial target of helping Opel break-even by 2016, but analysts believe that this might happen sooner.
“We’re careful now with new investment and are trying to understand and monitor the situation as it develops,” he said. “Of course, [development of the] Russian economy is a cause of concern.”