With North America taken care of, General Motors is turning its attention to the European market, where the company is struggling with high operating costs with its Opel and Chevrolet brand.
The European vehicle lineup is a bit different when compared to the one in America. Where as its American lineup was outdated and uncompetitive a few years ago, the European products are just fine. The Opel Insignia was 2009’s European Car of the Year and the Astra was third in 2010.
Instead of product failures, it’s the high operating costs and mediocre sales that are hurting the company. On top of that, GM’s increased emphasis on importing cars from Korea has lowered production costs.
GM of Europe has seen its market share in Germany plummet to 8 percent during the first quarter of 2010. On the plus side, an increased demand for Chevrolet in the United Kingdom has seen the company’s European market share climb by 0.6 percent.
During the second quarter, GM did manage to reduce losses, but it was at a terrible cost. There were massive job cuts - around 8,000 people - and the closure of a plant in Belgium. Many believe this, and GM’s overall downturn, has hurt the brand’s image. GM even tried to sell Opel, but they changed their minds.