FRANKFURT -- Opel will export cars to Tunisia and Morocco from its European plants, CEO Michael Lohscheller told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.
"We see good opportunities for us overall," Lohscheller was quoted by the paper as saying of its African prospects.
The Auto Hall Group, via its subsidiary Societe Marocaine de l’Automobile Allemande (SM2A), will import and sell Opel vehicles in Morocco starting in April, the automaker said today in a statement.
The Auto Hall Group is one of the largest car dealers in the country with its network of more than 50 sales outlets. Opel vehicles will be sold at 10 exclusive outlets, the automaker said.
By 2023, Opel wants to have a 5 percent market share in Morocco, which is the second-largest automotive market in Africa with sales reaching 169,000 units last year. The market has grown more than 25 percent the last two years, the automaker said.
In Tunisia, Opel will work with the importer STAFIM, the longstanding partner of sister brand Peugeot. STAFIM will start selling Opel vehicles in Tunisia in April. The brand Opel will appear in four showrooms: two in the capital city of Tunis along with one in Sousse and one in Sfax. the automaker said.
Opel CEO Lohscheller said he was not concerned that the sale of Opel cars in Africa could cannibalize sales of parent PSA Group.
"There are buyers who consciously choose a French brand and there are those who consciously pick a German brand," he told the paper.
He also said that Opel was making progress with its cost-cutting efforts.
PSA agreed in March to buy Opel from General Motors in a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros ($2.73 billion).
PSA has given Opel until 2020 to return to profit as part of a recovery plan aimed at shifting the brand's model lineup onto PSA's production platforms.
A key part of the plan is significantly increasing Opel's sales outside of Europe. Opel wants to double export sales by 2020 with the ultimate goal of generating 10 percent of its sales volume outside of Europe by the mid-2020s, up from less than 2 percent now.
Reuters and Douglas A. Bolduc contributed