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GM Says Opel Turnaround Plan is Working

Nov. 15, 2012
The company says it has to have a strong presence in Europe, with strong design, development, production and distribution, and added that was Opel's role.

General Motors (IW 500/4) CEO Dan Akerson said Thursday that a turnaround plan for Opel was producing results and reiterated support for the German automaker.

Akerson said that there were several positive indicators which showed that a new strategy for Opel was gaining traction.

He visited Opel's headquarters in Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt, to provide "first-hand information" to several thousand Opel workers and take questions form them, the company said.

While underscoring the difficult economic climate in Europe, Akerson reaffirmed GM's determination to get Opel back on track.

He said that GM had to have a strong presence in Europe, with strong design, development, production and distribution, and added that was Opel's role.

The statement also said that Opel, which has faced chronic problems in the past few years, would sell more than one million vehicles this year.

In 2011, Opel delivered more than 1.2 million cars across Europe, for a market share of 6.1%.

In June, the car maker adopted a new strategy to turn its fortunes around, based on cutting costs and boosting sales outside Europe.

The 150-year-old company and its British sister brand Vauxhall also plan to launch 23 new models between now and 2016.

GM plans to cut its fixed costs in Europe by $300 million this year and by an additional $500 million from 2013 to 2015.

In late October, GM said it had eliminated 2,300 jobs in Europe from a 2012 target of 2,600.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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