GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

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Thread: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel
    Automotive News
    January 22, 2013

    General Motors Co. is increasing cost-cutting pressure on its money-losing Opel/Vauxhall unit, threatening to close a German factory two years earlier than planned, reports said.

    GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky is pushing Opel unions to agree to "further considerable" cost cuts, according to a letter he wrote to employees, which was obtained by media outlets today.

    "The situation in the entire European (car) market is still catastrophic," Girsky wrote. "It is unrealistic and delusional to think that the European market will recover quickly."

    Girsky said car production may be halted at the company's Bochum, Germany, plant, which builds the Zafira Tourer minivan, at the end of 2014 instead of 2016, unless unions agree to further concessions.

    Full article at link.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    It doesn't look good for Opel. I'm sure the entire company is stressed to the max with doubt and uncertainty. I'm not sure how much longer they can deal with a horrible car market on top of their already poor market hold. It's a recipe for extinction.

    As time goes on, I don't know why GM is hanging on to them. I really think Opel is holding GM back, specially Buick. Buick has to mesh too many business objectives with them in order to grow into the brand they should be.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    If they punched off Olds, Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab without much thought why not Opel? GM wants to make Chevrolet the global brand anyways. Lets start in Europe. Opel has been a drag on the company for years why continue to feed it? Yeah the unions and the German government will be hacked but they are as much to blame as the crappy business model GM had for this company. If they don't want to abandon the brand then down size it until it is making money based on the number of cars its selling. It can always expand when/if the European economy recovers.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by CaddyLac10 View Post
    It doesn't look good for Opel. I'm sure the entire company is stressed to the max with doubt and uncertainty. I'm not sure how much longer they can deal with a horrible car market on top of their already poor market hold. It's a recipe for extinction.

    As time goes on, I don't know why GM is hanging on to them. I really think Opel is holding GM back, specially Buick. Buick has to mesh too many business objectives with them in order to grow into the brand they should be.
    This is an interesting thought. Opel is holding Buick back? What do you mean?

    I think GM's risk-averse, avoidant decision-making corporate culture keeps models like the GTC, Cascada, Insignia Sports Tourer, Meriva, Adam, and Zafira out of Buick's NA forecourts. And that means they aren't realizing much of the potential that resides in the Buick-Opel connection.

    Instead, we get a Korean-made Mokka rebadge and a Regal sedan they don't advertise.

    Why?
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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    The uncertainty is very bad for moral. I think GM should pull the plug on the plant now, and a second if necessary. Pull the band-aid and return to health.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    All of Europe is still in the dumps and if they dont dump their socialist ways, well there will be no recovery. Imagine what their economy's would be like if we in the US were not buying their MB, BMW, Audi, VW, ect. And how much better ours would be if we put all that money into our own cars. I say just shut down Opel,
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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by autoplaybook View Post
    This is an interesting thought. Opel is holding Buick back? What do you mean?

    I think GM's risk-averse, avoidant decision-making corporate culture keeps models like the GTC, Cascada, Insignia Sports Tourer, Meriva, Adam, and Zafira out of Buick's NA forecourts. And that means they aren't realizing much of the potential that resides in the Buick-Opel connection.

    Instead, we get a Korean-made Mokka rebadge and a Regal sedan they don't advertise.

    Why?
    We keep waiting for the Buick-Opel relationship to blossom and it's not happening. All of the good models that you mentioned are the ones that are not in NA, with the exception of the Regal, which I like, but it needs to be better. Why is it that all of the good Opel models are missing from Buick? GM doesn't need Opel to build Buick.

    Opel is holding Buick back because Buick should be at a much higher level than Opel. Opel is not a luxury brand and Buick should be a strong tier 2 luxury brand. As long as GM keeps rebadging Opels they will never reach their full potential.

    I'm fine with some Opels becoming Buicks, which would typically be the lower end of the market, but Buick needs to think bigger. If GM is going to take advantage of Opel, they need to start now. The GTC, Cascada, Insignia Sports Tourer, and Adam should have been here yesterday. Competitors like Hyundai are on a roll and Lincoln and Acura are pushing forward, all with 60K flagships and soon to be higher.

    Opel and Buick will not be able mesh their entire brand identities because both of them should be playing in completely different segments.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Why not Opels in the NA market?

    It might be a viable market share expansion strategy, putting some new "tasty offerings" on the NA table with the potential of utalizing some of Opel's excess EU capacity.

    Just saying ...
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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by TORRED1 View Post
    All of Europe is still in the dumps and if they dont dump their socialist ways, well there will be no recovery. Imagine what their economy's would be like if we in the US were not buying their MB, BMW, Audi, VW, ect. And how much better ours would be if we put all that money into our own cars. I say just shut down Opel,

    Socialist ways?
    A lot of Euro countries have or hae had conservative governments, proper conservative. not like the bs one the us has.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    It seems cost-cutting is the only way people at GM can think about. What about full-efficient small-displacement turbo engines with DI? (Diesel-) Hybrid? DSG tranny? Selling the product in all three biggest car markets? Stop harming Opels and GM image in Europe?

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by CaddyLac10 View Post
    We keep waiting for the Buick-Opel relationship to blossom and it's not happening. All of the good models that you mentioned are the ones that are not in NA, with the exception of the Regal, which I like, but it needs to be better. Why is it that all of the good Opel models are missing from Buick? GM doesn't need Opel to build Buick.

    Opel is holding Buick back because Buick should be at a much higher level than Opel. Opel is not a luxury brand and Buick should be a strong tier 2 luxury brand. As long as GM keeps rebadging Opels they will never reach their full potential.

    I'm fine with some Opels becoming Buicks, which would typically be the lower end of the market, but Buick needs to think bigger. If GM is going to take advantage of Opel, they need to start now. The GTC, Cascada, Insignia Sports Tourer, and Adam should have been here yesterday. Competitors like Hyundai are on a roll and Lincoln and Acura are pushing forward, all with 60K flagships and soon to be higher.

    Opel and Buick will not be able mesh their entire brand identities because both of them should be playing in completely different segments.
    Correct!!!

    Opel is basically German Chev playing in a working mans market

    But having said that if they fully merge Opel And Buick and allow Buick access to the best stuff both brands will benefit
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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    I worry about cost cutting on Opel when they are supposed to supply the bones of Buick, which should be a premium band.
    I hope the cost cutting doesn't extend to the cars.
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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    I think GM's risk-averse, avoidant decision-making corporate culture keeps models like the GTC, Cascada, Insignia Sports Tourer, Meriva, Adam, and Zafira out of Buick's NA forecourts. And that means they aren't realizing much of the potential that resides in the Buick-Opel connection.
    Not that Meriva sold as Buick would suddenly make a difference, but there's the problem. GM is going around beating around the bush for ages, making PR statements, making their people feel uncomfortable, insecure and focusing on holding on their seats (i.e. by doing nothing and thusly becoming unnoticeable) while sending out CVs wherever they can.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by RedVee8 View Post
    I worry about cost cutting on Opel when they are supposed to supply the bones of Buick, which should be a premium band.
    I hope the cost cutting doesn't extend to the cars.
    Err...this already happened...by Buick himself.

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    Re: GM steps up cost-cutting pressure at Opel

    Quote Originally Posted by CaddyLac10 View Post
    We keep waiting for the Buick-Opel relationship to blossom and it's not happening. All of the good models that you mentioned are the ones that are not in NA, with the exception of the Regal, which I like, but it needs to be better. Why is it that all of the good Opel models are missing from Buick? GM doesn't need Opel to build Buick.

    Opel is holding Buick back because Buick should be at a much higher level than Opel. Opel is not a luxury brand and Buick should be a strong tier 2 luxury brand. As long as GM keeps rebadging Opels they will never reach their full potential.

    I'm fine with some Opels becoming Buicks, which would typically be the lower end of the market, but Buick needs to think bigger. If GM is going to take advantage of Opel, they need to start now. The GTC, Cascada, Insignia Sports Tourer, and Adam should have been here yesterday. Competitors like Hyundai are on a roll and Lincoln and Acura are pushing forward, all with 60K flagships and soon to be higher.

    Opel and Buick will not be able mesh their entire brand identities because both of them should be playing in completely different segments.
    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    Correct!!!

    Opel is basically German Chev playing in a working mans market

    But having said that if they fully merge Opel And Buick and allow Buick access to the best stuff both brands will benefit
    Europe has the Chevrolet brand. Opel needs to move up a level similar to where Buick is at in NA. Opel's vehicles have a high amount of technology and features. These days, they're designed and built to be a bit premium. My 2008 Astra XE, the base model, came with rain-sensing wipers as standard. I don't think the Verano even has them as an option.

    In Europe, and in Germany especially, they have higher standards for mass-market vehicles.

    That's why Buick is ideal to pair with Opel. That's why Buick can help Opel with overcapacity...some models can be made in Europe and their labor cost premium can be offset by the higher prices Buick can charge for their vehicles in NA.

    If GM opened a few idled NA plants, they could start making Opels in America alongside Buick models as a bargaining chip against labor unrest in Europe. This would be a pretty desperate measure, but the way Opel is going, it's going to find itself in desperate times soon.

    Pairing Buick more closely with Opel could help improve Opel products to the point where a decent premium could be charged over, say Chevrolets that are already selling quite well over there. And it could help get the overcapacity and labor issues sorted, as well.
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