Opel has been in the doldrums for some years now, profitably and also as far as product is concerned. Competitors have eaten into its traditional audience base with products that are exciting and relevant, and Opel has had a hard time keeping up. No more, says CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke.
According to a report from Automotive News Europe and Reuters, the boss has laid down the gauntlet on his company’s future. The vision is as follows: profits of €1 billion (R10.9 billion) and a European market share of some 8.5% by 2016. That basically means within the next four years Opel would have developed enough new product to propel these goals. In fact, Stracke is quoted as saying he sees the brand introducing about 30 new vehicles to market by 2014.
There’s certainly plenty of room to manoeuvre as far as refreshments are concerned. For one, how about a new Meriva next year? While in that type of car, a new Zafira would also be welcome. Opel does not for instance, play against cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Touareg, Scirocco, and Polo Vivo among others. There is nothing to challenge the Mazda MX-5, nor the Toyota Corolla. The brand has a sedan called Insignia (pictured here) in Europe, but nowhere else.
It’s a very simple message that comes out here: no product, no sales. No sales, no profits. It doesn’t matter if you lay off half the staff or close down factories.