Handelsblatt Exclusive

GM Chief Stands Behind Opel

Mary Barra and the new Astra.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    General Motors is banking on its new supercharged Astra to boost profits and open new markets.

  • Facts


    • GM has developed a new model Astra to be unveiled at this week’s International Motor Show
    • The Astra and Corsa are Opel’s two top-selling models.
    • GM plans to introduce 29 new models for Opel from 2016 to 2020.
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Mary Barra, the chief executive of American car giant General Motors, is committed to reviving its ailing European business Opel, she told Handelsblatt.

The company is pinning its hopes on a new Astra model, which would be at the heart of Opel’s new strategy. The new model is being launched at the  International Motorshow in Frankfurt, which opens to the public on Thursday.

“It’s a very important debut for our company. It’s also a crucial point for Opel,” she said.

She added that Opel, which has gained market share in the last two years, “is a very important part of General Motors,” and that she expected it to move back into profit next year.  Opel will now introduce 29 new models from 2016 to 2020.

“We are now very effectively communicating what Opel stands for. I am very confident that we will reach our goals for next year and the years after that,” she added.

Ms. Barra said she had already received 30,000 advance orders for the new Astra, which she said would have “many innovations in the car are normally available only in the luxury segment.”

GM has struggled to gain market share in Europe and said two years ago that it will drop its Chevrolet brand in Europe to focus on Opel. Ms. Barra said she now wanted to focus on profitable growth, rather than solely focusing on market share.

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