Opel seeks further European growth image

While General Motors’ Opel/Vauxhall subsidiaries from Europe still struggle with losses, they also set ambitious goals for the company, as Opel’s CEO says he wants the unit to become No.2 in Europe.

General Motors, amidst an unprecedented generational change – with the first female in the industry as CEO – and now finally free of any US government control is focusing lately on restructuring its loss making businesses.

That includes pulling out of Australia its Holden unit and leaving Europe only to Opel/Vauxhall, as the Chevrolet brand will be retired from the region. Now, the German automaker’s CEO – Karl-Thomas Neumann – says that for instance 2014 would be a hard year, with the Bochum, Germany factory closing due this year.

But he ultimately aims to take PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s place and become Europe’s second biggest carmaker, behind only Volkswagen AG – and it should take place quite soon, before 2022.

“Why aim only for a turnaround by 2016 if we can go further and say we want to be No. 2 in Europe by 2022. We want to grow faster than the market, to gain market share,” Neumann said.

While Opel expects a slightly bigger than the 2% forecasted growth for passenger car sales this year, Neumann also hinted Opel’s market share increased from last year’s 7% to 7.4% in February.