Opel to end sales in China after failing to gain traction image

General Motors Co.’s Opel unit, on Friday has announced it will stop selling cars in the Chinese market – and will focus more on Europe.

The automaker will stop all exports to China starting January 2015. Last year Opel sold only 4,365 new cars in China, even if the carmaker operates a network of 22 dealers. Compared GM’s Buick sales of 810,000 units – Opel accounts only 1 percent of GM’s total sales in China.

“It would have cost hundreds of millions of euros to raise awareness of the Opel brand and to expand the distribution network in China,” CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said during a press conference in Germany.

On the same time Opel plans to invest 245 million euros ($336.62 million) in Europe – to build a new Buick vehicle that will be exported in the United States.

The carmaker started to sell vehicles in China in 1993, but was never capable to gain traction in the world’s largest car market.

The announcement comes after GM said in December that will pull out its Chevrolet brand from Europe; Chevy sold only 200,000 new cars in Europe last year, taking a market share of less than one per cent. By contrast, in Europe Opel has a six percent market share.