General Motors has reiterated its stance that its European subsidiary Opel/Vauxhall is not up for sa
10 January 2012

General Motors has reiterated its stance that its European subsidiary Opel/Vauxhall is not up for sale. GM's marketing chief Joel Ewanick confirmed to Autocar at today's Detroit motor show that GM's executive committee was aware of the continued Opel sale rumours, but insisted GM was fully committed to building a strong Opel.

"I hear the rumours but I can't stop them," he said. "Personally, I want to market the hell out of Opel and GM as a company wants to give them everything possible to make them a success."

Ewanick said Opel needed GM's fully support as "we know how strong VW is". GM previously strongly hit out at VW chief Martin Winterkorn for fanning speculation that GM was considering a sale of Opel to Hyundai.

When asked if he felt the Opel brand was missing anything, Ewanick was defiant in defending GM's European arm. "Really, the car business is very straightforward," he said. "You manage inventory, get pricing right and understand market trends and you're successful. Opel has a lot of product that resonates and it has good dealers."

Ewanick believed any firm would struggle if up against opposition as strong as VW. "I will argue to anyone that building cars is the toughest market of all. You only get one shot at selling to someone every five years, we're all competing for them and the Germans are so strong. It's the same for Chevrolet in the US with Ford and Toyota."

GM has recently appointed Karl-Friedrich Stracke as successor to the retired Nick Reilly as head of GM Europe. He will aim to return Opel to profitability.

"Karl has a big job on his hands but I'm confident he'll do the right things," added Ewanick.

Join the debate

Comments
5

10 January 2012

From a personal point of view, I believe Vauxhall / Opel have a product that is at least as strong as VW, which GM should be proud of. I would rather have an Astra GTC over a Scirroco and an Insignia over a Passat any day.

What it lacks is the last tenth of polish to make it a true competitor, which in reality is down to marketing and brand position more than anything else. Get that right in the public mind (and from what I've read that is more of an issue on the continent than it is in the UK) and they'll be on to a winner.

If this new guy is committed to Vauxhall / Opel then I am sure they can crack that.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]If this new guy is committed to Vauxhall / Opel then I am sure they can crack that. [/quote]

I don't have as much faith in GM as you do Teg....

10 January 2012

[quote TegTypeR]

From a personal point of view, I believe Vauxhall / Opel have a product that is at least as strong as VW, which GM should be proud of. I would rather have an Astra GTC over a Scirroco and an Insignia over a Passat any day.

[/quote]

Having driven Insignias, Passats, A4s and 3 series on many occasions, I'd prefer the Insignia too.

Its a good car and beter than most of the negetive comments people give it (Who probably haven't driven it)

The only problem is that I just don't like Vauxhalls, never have, but you never know in the future...

10 January 2012

[quote Richard H]From a personal point of view, I believe Vauxhall / Opel have a product that is at least as strong as VW, which GM should be proud of. I would rather have an Astra GTC over a Scirroco and an Insignia over a Passat any day.[/quote]

I'm totally with you on this one. I personally think VW are over-rated. Vauxhalls main problem is there badge. and for what reason i do not know i have had 12 and never had any problems with any of mine hence why i have been a loyal Vauxhall buyer for many years. the current line up is probably the best its ever been and with the new Astra gtc vxr around the corner and new zafira tourer and baby 4x4 the future looks good. i'd say though the Agila needs replacing soon.

10 January 2012

[quote VX220EDDIE]I'm totally with you on this one. I personally think VW are over-rated.[/quote]

I'd go one step further than that Eddie- virtually the entire VAG group is over-rated, including Audi.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run