Axing Chevrolet in EU ‘clears runway’ for Vauxhall says GM president

GMDanAmmann01GM is withdrawing Chevrolet from Europe to underline its commitment to the Vauxhall and Opel brands said president Dan Ammann at the Geneva Motor Show.

“It has been a question mark,” he admitted during an interview, “but our activities should dispel these (and) clear up our commitment to Vauxhall and Opel.”

Withdrawing Chevrolet means GM can better allocate its resource in Europe, and also clarify its brand positioning here, he added. “It will increase the bandwidth of the brands and redefine them.”

GM, he said, “is in a strong position financially, allowing them (Vauxhall and Opel) to go brand-building.

“Losing Chevrolet simplifies things.”

‘Pieces in place to succeed’

But despite investing $5 billion in Europe, GM is not giving the long-time money-losing division a blank cheque. Ammann is expecting returns. “We have the pieces in place to succeed in Europe,” he said, and the expectation is that this will happen.

“The European car market is well regarded; it’s a leading edge market. It’s also one of the biggest in the world.” By redoubling its commitment to Vauxhall and Opel, GM is finally removing the question marks as to its commitment and, said Ammann, preparing to run the businesses “in a more focused and clear way”.

Early gains are encouraging, he added. “There s a positive trajectory around the brand.

“Last year, we increased market share, for the first time in 14 years. It’s a signal we’re doing the right things.”

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