Speaking with Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Karl-Thomas Neumann stated that Opel is still on track to be profitable in under three years even though economists aren’t optimistic about growth in the European market.
GM may tap Opel for more product development for North America, Asia and especially Australia, but it’s Europe’s labor costs that continue to be a burden for manufacturing within the continent’s borders.
Still, Neumann is optimistic that Opel will grow enough to help counter additional cuts. Next year, the division is closing down a plant in Bochum, Germany, as it seeks to trim both capacity and costs. Opel will continue to work with France’s PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen, even as GM works to wind down its short-lived partnership with the automaker.
Neumann, meanwhile, also reaffirmed that he isn’t planning to leave GM.
“I will stay with Opel a long time. This is no short-term matter,” he said. “I am responsible for General Motors in Europe, so I’m head of Europe for Detroit. I stand for Opel and will fight for the brand.”