Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

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Thread: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

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    Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    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.

    Read more: http://europe.autonews.com/article/2...#ixzz2NeDR0U1m

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Lets just hope the upbeat and positive rhetoric is backed up with some real changes.

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    And at the same time:

    Opel to freeze pay as Ford's Belgian workers agree on severance


    HANOVER, Germany (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. won employees' approval in Europe for labor-cost cut plans to restore earnings in the region in response to a recession that's reducing vehicle sales.

    Manufacturing workers at Ford's plant in Genk, Belgium, and its suppliers will end walkouts after agreeing to severance packages of as much as 2 1/2 years of pay when the factory shuts in 2014, the company said Friday in a statement.

    A pay freeze at GM's Opel brand in Germany received the backing of employees at three of the unit's five plants, the IG Metall union said separately.

    Industrywide European car sales are set to fall a sixth consecutive year in 2013 after reaching a 17-year low in 2012 as a sovereign-debt crisis grips the region.

    The 4,300 positions that Ford is cutting at Genk are part of a combined 30,000-job reduction outlined since mid-2012 by auto manufacturers such as PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Opel.

    "We are pleased to have reached a social plan agreement that was accepted by the unions and approved by the hourly employees at Genk," Philippe Verbeeck, operations manager for Ford at the plant, said in the statement. "We fully recognize that this has been a difficult time for everyone at the Ford Genk plant, our suppliers and the local community."

    Read more: http://europe.autonews.com/article/2...#ixzz2NeEbPrAy

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Quote Originally Posted by ausrutherford View Post
    Only problem it is a house cat while VW is a Lion in Europe. Hard to win.
    They don't need to win, just survive for now...

    And they're not a house cat, they're more a Griffin (Vauxhall)... The Lion is in Australia...

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Europe is such a mess and their unions are irrational. I doubt that the one plant that GM is closing is enough, but closing another will probably take an act of God. It's sad that Europe is effectively taking advantage of the US taxpayer. If the American operations of GM weren't healthy enough to cover the European losses Opel would be out of business and all of the unions out of work.

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Es hangt zum Hals heraus.
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

    Edmund Burke

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Quote Originally Posted by plane View Post
    Es hangt zum Hals heraus.
    Mir auch.

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Opel should be allowed to set up shop in the U.S. Would appeal to those not into American cars and look better than anything GM sells here

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    Europe is such a mess and their unions are irrational.
    What if the unions aren't the problem? I've made this point a number of times already, but the fact of the matter is, labor only makes up ~5% of the cost of building cars. Last year's losses were more or less equivalent to Opel's entire payroll. That means even with free labor, the company would have barely broken even.

    Yet here we are, endlessly talking about a relatively minor item on the cost side, while ignoring the other 95% as well as the entire revenue side. If you can't make money with free labor, there's clearly something else wrong with the business, and you're not going to fix it by paying your workers less.

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Quote Originally Posted by steve333 View Post
    Opel should be allowed to set up shop in the U.S. Would appeal to those not into American cars and look better than anything GM sells here
    That would work if Buick didn't exist....

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    I think Opel would have done better than Buick, but I know it won't happen

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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    I know GM has avoided bringing Opel back to the states, but my first impressions of this new little Opel Adam are if they could get them here soon, they would go toe to toe stealing sales from the hot sellers in that class (Fiat 500, etc.) and go like hotcakes. On the other hand, it it takes 4 or 5 years to ramp up to be able to do that, or it has to be rebadged and reengineered, then that is more problematic and a different discussion.
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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    If the GTC I just handed back is any indication, Opel is improving and can do it. That car had some little foibles, but it's ability to combine smooth refinement with ball-tearing performance and gorgeous good looks is fantastic.

    Besides, VW aren't unassailable. Missus' VW has just suffered the TSI-centric issue of loss of a cylinder. Fortunately, still within warranty. But this is a gently-treated car with 48,000km not even three years old. Their reputation is starting to suffer, from TSI engines (remember, Wards' engine of the year twice in a row) and multi=COTY winner. They had built up and moved way up the charts - but they are losing a lot of customer good will.
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    Re: Opel is 'in attack mode,' will survive, says CEO Neumann

    Quote Originally Posted by baloo View Post
    the fact of the matter is, labor only makes up ~5% of the cost of building cars. Last year's losses were more or less equivalent to Opel's entire payroll. That means even with free labor, the company would have barely broken even. Yet here we are, endlessly talking about a relatively minor item on the cost side, while ignoring the other 95% as well as the entire revenue side.
    Absolutely. The unions have not been the problem in the US and they are not the problem in Europe, the problem has been poor management all along.

    Moving your entire infrastructure to a place with cheaper labor requires huge investments for quite small gains. Even with a $700 million loss, when your annual spending budget is over $100 billion just in parts, shattering your workforce or cancelling a $15 billion spending for product development is the last thing you should do. Opel management have a viable plan now, let them try and execute it.

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