General Motors is taking a new approach to how it sells cars in Europe and once Chevy pulls out of Europe, Vauxhall is one course to make profit again by 2016.
Last year the company, which has struggled with an image problem in mainland Europe, managed to cut its operating losses by 60 per cent and managed to also maintain its market share with popular new models like the Adam and Mokka.
Karl Thomas Neumann, CEO for Opel and Vauxhall, told Auto Express that this was an important milestone on the road to recovery for the brand, saying:
“For way too long we have lost market share. Winning is a habit, but so is losing, this year for the first time we were able to change that. With the new engines and models we have coming, we aim to become the second biggest brand in Europe.”
Part of this increase in sales will come from Chevrolet customers, but Neumann told us that some Chevy customers were too price sensitive to switch straight over, but that convincing the dealers to stay with the company would be vital.
He confirmed that Cadillac would make a gradual return to Europe, but their premium position would mean there was no competition with Vauxhall models.
General Motors has invested a large sum of money to allow Vauxhall the time to become profitable again, and Neumann acknowledged “All the pressure is on our shoulders now.” GM has invested over €5bn to help salvage its operations in Europe, and expand into Russia and Turkey, and that money is all profit from sales in China and the US.
Even so Neumann remains confident the brand can turn things around: “We need a presence in Europe, we can’t just give it up.” he confirmed.