Opel has stretched the patience of its parent General Motors and the ever-watchful financial markets are gazing upon the loss-making brand with a jaundiced eye. On Thursday, Opel management is expected to put forth a plan that provides a path to shrinking billions of dollars in losses while also increasing productivity. At the same time, the European car market is expected to tumble further throughout 2012.
General Motors is having a hard time nailing down its European operations. The automaker reported its first-quarter earnings slid by $1 billion, down from $3.2 billion in the first quarter of last year. The drop was partially attributable to a one-time loss that included changes in accounting for the automaker's European pensions.
General Motors is hard at work restructuring its brands here in the U.S., but we mustn't forget about overseas divisions, like Opel, that still require some financial aid to get things up and running at full capacity again. As we reported last month, GM came to an agreement with Opel's German workers – labor heads have agreed to do without €1.26 billion in earnings over the next four years (approximately $1.59 billion), saying that the money is best saved for the development of Opel p