Opel CEO expects €1 billion profit from 2016 image

General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel has set an ambitious target for 2016, when it wants to reach a profit of €1 billion.

Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke announced the plan in a newsletter for the automaker’s employees. “My vision is as follows – Opel/Vauxhall will make a profit of 1 billion euros from 2016, a return on sales of 5 percent and have a market share of 8.5 percent in Europe,” OpelPost reported Stracke as saying at a management meeting in Munich.

Opel, which lost $1.6 billion last year, is GM’s top priority at the moment, with the U.S. carmaker looking at various approaches to boost sales and cut costs. Measures to make Opel profitable may include job cuts, plant closures, and even a form of bankruptcy. Stracke also said Opel wants to gain market share in 2012 and will launch 30 new vehicles by 2014 to refresh its model lineup in order to make it more attractive to customers.

Last month, GM named its vice chairman Stephen Girsky to lead the board that supervises its European Opel brand. Opel lost $1.6 billion last year and $300 million in the third quarter of 2011. GM dropped its 2011 break-even target for Opel.