Opel’s chief Karl-Thomas Neumann said the German automaker, a wholly owned subsidy of the largest US automaker, General Motors, has no intention to tie-up with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The Opel manager did say he agrees with the views expressed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne, a vocal proponent of industry consolidation, viewing how the automotive industry needs improvements as far as volume, scale and utilization are concerned – including at Opel. “In principle (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne is right, the auto industry develops the same things 10 times over,” commented Neumann, discussing a report that Marchionne sent an email asking for a merger to parent GM’s chief executive Mary Barra in March. European automakers in particular need to address the problem of lowering their fleet wide emissions to an average of just 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2021 – with the companies hard at work to develop similar engines – which would decrease costs if they shared their efforts on the matter.
Neumann said the automakers should though first consider economies of scale inside their own group. “It was a big mistake for Opel to search for scale with PSA and not within GM,” he commented, calling out as mistakes the decisions by previous Opel officials to share platforms with rivals, instead of General Motors. The new leader has been focusing on having Opel first searching for cost cutting procedures inside the group before going outside to competitors, such as PSA.