Opel future remains uncertain

Article by Christian A., on September 14, 2011

The future of Opel is unsure as there are renewed rumors that General Motors is preparing to sell it off. Just last week, GM vice chairman Steve Girsky acknowledged that Opel is “not the biggest money maker.” GM CEO Dan Akerson is now tasked to save the automaker, which he voted not to keep during a board meeting in 2009.

Akerson now has to push Opel to raise profits and to make sure that its products are able to fend off competitors.

At the same time, Opel has to allow Chevrolet to be GM’s world leader when it comes to mass markets, says Autonews. In 2009, Akerson said that Europe was a market of national champion automakers.

There’s Volkswagen AG in Germany, Fiat S.p.A. in Italy and Renault SA in France. In addition, it has to compete with pan-European luxury brands such as BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz.

As soon as GM emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, it scrapped plans to sell Opel to Magna International Inc. after negotiating for several months. Instead, GM launched a restructuring to revive the European unit, which lost $1.6 billion in 2010.

Last June, it was reported that GM was thinking about selling it again. Akerson denied this report in late July. According to GM executives, Opel's restructuring is on track and its business continues to be a key part of its global strategy.

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