Opel is optimistic yet cautious that sales will grow enough in 2014 to prevent another set of cost cutting measures, chief executive Karl-Thomas Neumann told Sueddeutsche Zeitung. He remarked that Opel is on its way to achieve profitability by 2016, but said the General Motors unit is expecting a difficult year ahead, no thanks to restructuring costs for ending vehicle production at its Bochum site in Germany.
"If the world doesn't come to an end, we should keep growing, and then we don't need additional cost savings," Neumann told the daily, adding that GM is sticking with its EUR4 billion ($5.5 billion) investment plan for Opel. He also said that the strategy for Opel will still be the same even after parent GM shifts to a new leadership. Mary Barra will become GM’s new CEO effective January 2014.
Neumann remarked that he will stay at Opel for a long time, adding that he could fight from his company’s corner since he is also a member of key GM committees in Detroit. "I am responsible for General Motors in Europe, so I'm head of Europe for Detroit. I stand for Opel and will fight for the brand," Neumann told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
He, however, noted that he could not work "against GM". According to Neumann, Opel's cooperation with Peugeot would continue even after GM announced that it would sell its 7-percent stake and the French carmaker saying it would seek a deeper relationship with Dongfeng. "We do not want to marry or adopt Peugeot," Neumann said, adding that the carmakers will continue to work together on projects which are of mutual benefit.