FRANKFURT -- General Motors' European unit, Opel/Vauxhall, is open to alliances beyond that with PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and could build a Chevrolet model to take up excess capacity and help it return to profit.
Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke told workers at the unit's Ruesselsheim headquarters in Germany today that management is studying details of various projects and said any move to shift vehicle development to the French partner would be matched by PSA projects being moved to the Ruesselsheim development center.
In a statement, Stracke listed 10 key cornerstones to bring Opel back into profitability. These include expanding into new vehicle segments with cars such as the Mokka subcompact SUV and Adam minicar; entering new markets such as Australia, South America and North Africa, as well as expanding in China and Russia.
But Stracke warned that exporting to regions outside Europe won't be enough to operate the European factories at full capacity.
Among other strategy points he listed were introducing initiatives to make the brand an industry leader in product quality and customer service and a new, clear brand strategy "geared toward both traditional and attainable potential customers."
Opel will also review material costs and seek to reduce the manufacturing complexity of its cars to increase profit margins per vehicle, the CEO said. It plans to run all its plants on three shifts starting with the next Astra compact car, which will be built in two GM Europe plants instead of three.