Opel aims to become No. 2 automaker in Europe by 2022, CEO says

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GENEVA (Reuters) -- General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall unit wants to overtake PSA/Peugeot-Citroen to become the second-largest carmaker in Europe by 2022, the German automaker's CEO said.

"Why aim only for a turnaround by 2016 if we can go further and say we want to be No. 2 in Europe by 2022," Karl-Thomas Neumann said at the Geneva auto show, adding that 2014 would be a difficult year, burdened by the cost of closing a factory in Bochum, Germany.

Opel's market share in Europe was 7.4 percent in February, Neumann said, suggesting a gain from its market share in 2013 which was at 7 percent.

Opel expects slight growth in the market for passenger cars in Europe this year.

"We want to grow faster than the market, to gain market share," Neumann said.

GM has said it plans to invest 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to fund 23 new models and 13 new engines by 2016 to overhaul Opel's aging product range.

Volkswagen Group is Europe's biggest automaker by unit sales.

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