Opel Expected To Vote On New Profitability Plan Today2
We won’t be telling you anything new by extolling GM’s loss-making situation with Opel, even if may all be on paper. But The General is finally on an active pursuit to turn around its European operations, and tomorrow, Opel’s supervisory board will vote on the return-to-profitability plan outlined by CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke back in May.
The 10-step plan involves a plethora of initiatives, from going on a rampage in introducing new products and powertrains, increasing quality, expanding globally, changing Opel’s brand strategy (or not), increasing profit margins, creating alliances, and maybe even making Chevys in Opel plants for Europe (and maybe even beyond)… even though Korea may not be keen on the plan. Looks like we’re bound to find out more about at least some of these individual initiative tomorrow.
Moreover, Opel and its labor union IG Metall are currently in negotiations with hopes to reach a consensus on a mutually-acceptable way forward by November. Until then, one thing is for certain: it’s not going to be an easy way forward for anyone — but what must be done, must be done. And we’ll be able to at least see the fruits of GM’s and Opel’s labor tomorrow.
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Their first step needs to be to trim the fat. European manufacturers seem to think that offering 20 different drivetrain choices is the way to please your customers. The Asians generally have far less yet we see how profitable they are. There needs to be a rethink of the status quo. They need to consolidate their options packages as well. Garbage trim levels like “Expression” (in the UK market) are a waste of time.
The fat isn’t in the model mix, rather it’s the overinflated German unions who fail to see the need for a viable business model.
Europe’s in a ton of mess right now. Germany is saying Nein to any attempt to solve their fiscal crisis. If IG Metall decides to go on strike then Germany’s production will grind to a halt faster than you can say go out of business!