How things change. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Opel might just break even next year. This is kind of a big deal, largely because Opel has been arguably the most troubled branch both in General Motors' portfolio and in all of Europe.

The report claims that Opel could be back in the black before 2016, thanks to the arrival of Karl-Thomas Neumann from Volkswagen, not to mention a massive, $6 billion investment that will lead to nearly two dozen new models in the next few years. Sales climbed for both Opel and Vauxhall by three percent in the first two months of 2014, according to WSJ, indicating that the renewed focus on product might be working.

"If everything goes well, theoretically [profits] can't be ruled out," Neumann told WSJ.

Opel's has seen success with the Adam city car and the Mokka (known to American audiences as the hot-selling Buick Encore), not to mention fresh, stylish versions of the Insignia (Buick Regal) and the Astra and Corsa small cars.

There has also been some cleverness to the markets Opel is targeting, which is encouraging. It recently pulled out of both Australia and China, suffering from low sales in both markets. But it seems that rather than a desperate retreat, these were more strategic withdrawals. According to Neumann, Russia and Turkey are Opel's two best chances for growth.

"Now Opel has a great strategy for China is what a lot of people thought, " Neumann told WSJ. "As GM, we are still bullish about China. But for Opel it is just a fact that our resources are better used somewhere else."

Based on statements like that, we're thinking the future is rather bright for the Russelsheim outfit.


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  • 22 Comments
      • 8 Months Ago
      [blocked]
        Karfreek
        • 8 Months Ago
        Pontiac. Cars people younger than 60 would consider driving. I had (4) myself.
      Quest
      • 8 Months Ago
      Opel's financial troubles can be laid directly at the door of the Ren Cen (GM HQ). If they had manged the brand correctly they wouldn't have to *rebuild* the Brand.
        The Wasp
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Quest
        I agree -- GM should have taken away Opel's (and Holden's) autonomy long ago. That's what you're saying, right?
          Daniel D
          • 8 Months Ago
          @The Wasp
          Well the brave new US centric Holden comes to you in 2017. Look forward to your explanation about the plunge in sales and irrelevancy of GM in the Australian market.
        Daniel D
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Quest
        Or lose Holden for that matter.
      bootsnchaps60
      • 8 Months Ago
      I thought Opel sold well in China-as Buicks. When will GM wake up to the proven fact that making the same cars and trucks multiple ways with different badges doesn't work? Opel is struggling so GM tries to pitch Chevy in Europe. Cadillac has failed twice in Europe so let's try again and cut into Opel sales. The Australian market is small so lets introduce pure Opels to compete with rebadged Opels/Holdens. Chevy offers three four door sdeans to compete with each other here. Haven't most of the engineering/quality problems been with Opel and Daewoo? Haven't a lot of the advances been from Holden? Is anyone paying attention at GM or is beating Toyota still the only priority?.
        rbnhd1144
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bootsnchaps60
        The answer to your question is NO! Most of the Engineering problems havent been with Opel, Get your facts straight instead of making up your own. I cant think of any issues with Opel although there may be some, If GM has engineering issues its here in the USA or havent you heard? lol
          aatbloke1967
          • 8 Months Ago
          @rbnhd1144
          Neither the Cobalt or Cruze were engineered by Opel. Those models simply used the Delta platform, nothing more.
          Jerry
          • 8 Months Ago
          @rbnhd1144
          BS! MANY of GM's engineering problems start and end with Opel. Look at the recall chains on the Cobalt and Cruze, and how uncompetitive the Regal/Malibu are against the competition. All Opel engineered products. They f'ed up the Global Epsilon midsize platform so bad that Opel has been barred from much of the E2XX platform development internally. Opel <> Mercedes Benz. Not all German cars are equal.
        Dark Gnat
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bootsnchaps60
        "making the same cars and trucks multiple ways with different badges" All of the major automakers do this. Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota, etc.
        Jerry
        • 8 Months Ago
        @bootsnchaps60
        You hit the nail on the head! Opel and Daewoo have drug GM down for years. Decades in Opel's case. Opel has last an average of $1.3 billion a year for the last 13 years straight! They wouldn't exist if it were not for GM's life blood. Same with Daewoo. Went bankrupt twice before GM bought them. Both losers from the start!
          Lachmund
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jerry
          You really don't seem to know much about the auto industry, do you?!
          aatbloke1967
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Jerry
          Jerry is one of those teenage buffoons who truly believes he's right, but little does he realise that he sounds like a complete part to anyone with a modicum of automotive knowledge.
      Jerry
      • 8 Months Ago
      They have been saying this for 14 years now! I will have to see it to believe it.
        rbnhd1144
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jerry
        Blah Blah Blah Jerry OK we get it yout not an Opel fan, but dont blame Opel for GMs financial problems, they lost Olsmoblie, Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, Hummer, and almost the whole Farm , Thats bad management, quite an accomplishment.
      Avinash Machado
      • 8 Months Ago
      Long overdue.
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