The Vice Chairman of GM and interim president of GM Europe, Steve Girsky, has revealed details of a radical 10-year plan for reviving Vauxhall and Opel’s fortunes in Europe – and he calls it “the biggest comeback in European automotive history”.
Despite selling more than a million cars a year, GM Europe has lost $15billion over the last 10 years. This new plan – dubbed ‘Drive 2022’ – is designed to lay the foundations to break even by the middle of this decade, and turn to increasing profits thereafter.
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“I’m not expecting a huge recovery any time soon in Western Europe,” Girsky told us. “We can’t rely on volume to bail us out.”
The basic plan is simple – to increase profits while driving costs down – but Girsky breaks that down into three distinct phases. The first is to optimise manufacturing costs, sharpen the brand image (especially in Germany where it’s seen as boring and sales have slumped) and reduce the cost of materials.
The second phase is to match supply more closely to demand, produce cars that are currently made outside Europe locally (Chevrolet cars, for example, will now be built here) and launch additional variants with the help of partners such as PSA. “If we’ve got something that’s working, we should put our foot down and keep going with it,” said Girsky.