Is General Motors out, or in? Cheif executive officer, Mary Barra, struck an unusual note when she told reporters at the Detroit Automotive Press Association that the company she leads would “absolutely” consider returning to the European market, the Detroit Bureau reported on Monday.
Recall, GM will spend billions of dollars to finalize the Opel sale to France’s PSA Groupe. It’s the same deal that turned over every GM production and engineering faciltiy—save for one Italian powertrain operation—to the French automaker. GM failed to turn a profit in Europe for 17 years before throwing in the towel with Opel and Vauxhall.
But, Barra sounded more optimistic. “Nothing keeps us from going back,” she said. The statement came with a little asterisk, though.
She added the automaker would need “transformative products” if it considered returning to Europe. The phrase likely alludes to self-driving cars and electric vehicles. Both are under rapid development at GM.
As she mulled over Europe, she also said other markets could face GM’s guillotine, too. “We need to generate an appropriate return. If we don’t see a path to generate appropriate returns we’re going to invest where we see better opportunities,” Barra said.
GM Korea has been a sour spot on the automaker’s financial record as of recent as labor rates climb and the market becomes unfavorable for the company. GM exited Europe, Indonesia, pulled brands from Russia, India, and ended manufacturing in Australia under Barra’s watch thus far.