GENEVA -- New Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann says he can revive the beleaguered European brand and stem its persistent losses -- with plenty of help from parent company General Motors.
"We have a new leadership team, a 10-year plan ... and we have financing from GM in Detroit that not only allows us to cover our losses but also to invest billions of euros into new product," Neumann told reporters at the Geneva auto show last week.
Neumann took over at Opel on March 1. He said he would not have taken the job if he didn't believe GM executives were committed to investing in Opel's turnaround.
GM CEO Dan Akerson has said many times that he believes GM can revive Opel and that there are no plans to sell the subsidiary -- which the company nearly did in 2009. Still, rumors persist about whether GM might unload Opel or fold it into a joint venture with another automaker such as PSA Peugeot Citroen or Fiat.
Neumann, 51, most recently was head of Volkswagen China and was CEO of supplier Continental AG. He replaced GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, who had been interim CEO. With Neumann's arrival and a freshly signed deal with its German unions, GM has put key building blocks of Opel's restructuring in place.
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