DETROIT -- General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson said the company's Opel/Vauxhall unit in Europe isn't for sale.
"We don't comment on speculation, and there's been a lot of speculation. But I will say this: Opel is not for sale," Akerson told reporters in Detroit. GM has lost $14.5 billion in Europe since 1999.
GM said in a July 13 statement on its Web site that Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn was stoking speculation that GM was looking to sell Opel. The VW chief's comments followed reports last month in German magazines Der Spiegel and Auto Bild that GM may be considering a sale of Opel.
Akerson spoke at a briefing on Wednesday with reporters at the company's Detroit-Hamtramck vehicle-assembly plant, which builds the automaker's Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car.
Opel, based in Ruesselsheim, Germany, is working with AlixPartners on tweaking options packages or production plans to spur higher prices, two people familiar with the matter said this month.
They are also studying ways to reduce engineering and manufacturing costs, said the people, who asked not to be identified disclosing private plans. Some new features include headlights tuned to high-speed driving on the autobahn.
VW's Winterkorn was quoted in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier this month saying that if Opel were for sale, a Chinese automaker would be more likely than Hyundai Motor Co. to buy it.