Opel expected to turn a profit in 2009
German automaker Opel is expected to earn an unexpected profit for 2009 with sales surging 34.5 percent from the previous year, daily Die Welt reported on Monday.
The General Motors subsidiary sold 298,630 on the German market by the end of October, putting sales ahead of those for Volkswagen and Ford, the paper reported. Those two car companies increased their sales by 33.6 percent and 28 percent in the same time period, respectively.
All three profited from the country’s car-scrapping premium, which was a part of Germany's economic stimulus package. Opel also benefited from the popularity of its Insignia model, the paper reported.
Meanwhile the new head of General Motors Europe, Nick Reilly, will become the leader of Opel and Vauxhall.
“A further search for a CEO for both brands is not longer necessary. Nick Reilly was asked if he would like to take on the role of head of Opel and Vauxhall, and he agreed. He said it would be an exciting task and a challenge,” a company statement said.
Over the weekend Reilly said that Opel’s restructuring plan was almost complete and included plans to lay off some 8,300 workers.
He also said that Opel/Vauxhall still needed €3.3 billion, of which €1 billion was necessary for the restructuring process. While General Motors itself will invest €600 million, Reilly said the rest must come from the governments of European countries where the company produces cars.