Report: Opel’s new CEO will stick to restructuring plan image

Opel’s new CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann backs the carmaker’s restructuring plan.

According to a report from Automobilwoche cited by Automotive News Europe, the former VW executive has seen the Drive 2022 plan and wants to implement it without major changes.

Opel contributed the most to parent General Motors’ $1.8 billion operating loss in Europe last year and GM wants to break-even in Europe by 2015/2016. It also wants to reduce fixed costs at Opel by about $500 million this year compared with 2012.

This will be achieved through a more thorough integration of financial services provider GMAC into GM, among other measures, said an Opel spokesman. Another important part of Drive 2022 is a new-car pricing structure for Opel. This will stop short of being an accross-the-board change in pricing or brand positioning. The plan also envisions the utilization of Opel factories at more than 90 percent of their capacity, the spokesman added.

However, in order to make this possible, Opel’s Bochum plant in Germany will need to be closed. Neumann, who took over operations at Opel March 1, wants to convince employees to grant concessions. According to Drive 2022, vehicles sold in Europe will be manufactured in Europe whenever possible.