So that Opel could better compete with Volkswagen AG, General Motors has decided to move the European brand further up-market. Several GM executives like CEO Dan Akerson and Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick told analysts last Tuesday in Detroit that the company sees the need for the identities of its brands to be distinct.
GM will play up Opel's German heritage as a means to connect with consumers and steal some of Volkswagen's market share.
Ewanick said that at the same time, GM will boost the campaign of Chevrolet as the entry-level brand in Europe. In 2005, GM relaunched Chevrolet in Europe but it has not had much success. Chevrolet’s market share in Europe in 2010 was just 2.5%. Ewanick said that it will always be difficult for Chevrolet to penetrate the German market.
Ewanick said that Opel would be “very viable” in Germany due to its heritage and because it is its “home turf.” As a result, it will be able to rival Volkswagen. Akerson explained that Opel would only need to grow slightly for it to be competitive in Europe and in Germany in particular.
Akerson said that in the five years before the bankruptcy, the automaker lost most of its market share in Germany. He said that the automaker had been successful with using this strategy for Buick in North America.