FRANKFURT -- General Motors' European arm Opel aims to increase its market share in Russia to 5 percent from 2.6 percent in the next two to three years, CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke said.
"This year we already sold about 50,000 vehicles on the Russian market, and I am optimistic that we will continuously expand that," Stracke told the Financial Times Deutschland in an interview published on Friday.
Opel sales and marketing chief Alain Visser also told Automotive News Europe in an earlier interview that Opel aims for a 5 percent market share in Russia as it seeks to reduce its dependence on the saturated European market.
Stracke said GM has added a shift at its Russian plant in St. Petersburg, and Opel will use some of that new capacity to make its own vehicles.
Opel's sister brand Chevrolet is the second best-selling marque in Russia after Lada. Chevrolet's Russian sales grew 57 percent to 126,899 in the first nine months, according to the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB).
Opel sales nearly doubled to 48,543 in the same period. Opel is Russia's 14th best-selling brand.
Russia's car market has rebounded strongly from the economic downturn. The country could be on course to revisit sales levels last seen in 2008, before demand collapsed in 2009. The growth would allow it to challenge Germany for the title of European car-sales leader, according to the AEB.
Sources: Reuters; ANE research