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Opel to exit China

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It appears that Opel will be stopping its sales in China starting with January of next year whilst at the same time will start production of two new models in the second half of the decade, one of which is confirmed to be a US-bound Buick-branded vehicle.

According to a statement made by the now General Motors-owned German brand, they have decided to change their export strategy for China, by stopping sales of the Opel brand in China, interesting strategy change indeed.

Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann has described this decision as being ‘long overdue’ and it cam in conjunction with the announcement of a 245 million Euro investment into Opel’s Ruesselsheim plant. This plant is planned to support the production of a yet unknown second model, the details will be announced only close to the end of the year due to ‘competitive reasons’.

Neumann continued saying that it would have cost hundred of millions of Euro to raise the Opel brand awareness in China and to expand the distribution network while Buick is already a market leader in China so it makes more economical sense to simply strengthen future collaborations.

This withdrawal announcement is the latest move in GM’s restructuring efforts after their decision to pull Chevrolet from Europe by the end of 2015 and also cease Holden manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017.

These movement are expected to ‘pave the way for Opel’s profitable growth’ and the investment in a new, additional model for Ruesselsheim is another important step in GM’s multi-billion dollar model offensive.

According to Opel’s own figures, 22 Opel dealers in China sold a total of 4365 vehicles last year, compared with the 810,000 Buick vehicles sold in China by its 650-dealer network.

This latest announcement has also come as a confirmation of reports made late last year that GM is looking to increase the independence of its European-based operations as part of its efforts to overhaul its global vehicle platforms and stop its European losses.

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