General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky says that Opel is not for sale

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 12, 2012

Opel is not for sale but rather, its officials are looking at implementing plans so that the company’s issues would be resolved, according to General Motors Vice Chairman Steve Girsky who was interviewed at the Automotive News World Congress last Tuesday. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne had revealed that Opel and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen are potential targets.

Marchionne said that for the company to raise efficiencies and reduce development costs, it may decide to merge with another automaker. In 2009, Marchionne made a bid for Opel but it eventually withdrew.

In the later part of 2009, GM decided that it will keep Opel and sister brand Vauxhall instead of selling them to supplier Magna International Inc. Girsky became chairman of Opel's supervisory board in November 2011. GM CEO Dan Akerson tasked Girsky to revive a unit that has reported about $13 billion in losses since 1999.

Last November, GM backtracked on a previous forecast that its European operations will break even in 2011 for the first time in years due to the declining economy. Girsky reminded the Congress about the company’s commitment to making its European business become profitable once again.

Girsky, who used to be an analyst at Wall Street, said that four or five months will pass (in May or June) before it could be determined if the U.S. sales of GM's Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will be satisfactory.

In 2011, GM failed to reach its 10,000-unit target as it sold just 7,671 Volts in the U.S. Its sales were adversely affected by a federal investigation of fires that took place after Volt crashes. GM has presented a repair for this matter however, its executives downplayed sales expectations for the Volt this year when they were asked at the sidelines of the Detroit Auto Show.

Topics: general motors, opel

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