General Motors has underscored its long-term commitment to Opel with the announcement of a four billion euro ($4.95 billion) investment into the European division over the next four years.

The massive financial injection forms the first part of Opel’s new ‘DRIVE!2022′ strategy – a 10-year plan through which GM plans to return Opel to profitability by the middle of the decade, as well as introduce 23 new models and 13 new powertrains by the end of 2016.

GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said the investment emphasised the importance of Opel to the Detroit-based company’s future.

“As a global automotive company GM needs a strong presence in Europe – in terms of design and development as well as manufacturing and sales,” Akerson said at the board meeting at Adam Opel Haus in Russelsheim, Germany.

“Opel is a key to our success and enjoys its parent company’s full support.”

Opel supervisory board chairman Steve Girsky said the gathering of the board of directors at Opel’s headquarters – the first time such a meeting has been held in Germany in 20 years – was both a symbolic and literal show of solidarity and support.

“Opel has been part of GM since 1929 and is today more than ever a decisive element for the entire company’s innovative power,” Girsky said.

“This partnership is stronger than it has ever been.”

GM recorded an operating loss of $1.7 billion in Europe in 2012, on the back of a $660 million loss the previous year. Last month, Opel confirmed its plans to close its Bochum assembly plant – currently an employer of 3300 workers – at the end of 2014.

  • Dazza

    I read that as $4.95, which is such a common price, I lol’d.

  • Simon

    4.95billion! Now we know where the subsidies paid to Holden are going.

    • Barry

      Ummm the German Government give there motor vechle industry 10 times what we get here.

      • $29896495

        Well lets look at that for a second. we have three car companies which in essence build three cars, one each With out going into models and the CKD Cruze.

        Germany has seven car companies which are producing and exporting full car ranges. That is essentially the different. So per head of population spread amongst all those car companies. It becomes very similar.

        • Barry

          Nothing changes.The German government put 10 times the money in that our government does.The average indivdual German taxpayer puts in 5 times the amount the Australian tax payer does.

          • Rocket

            Unfortunately there are no Australian car companies you can buy shares in either. Why should taxpayers prop up foreign owned companies?

          • Mad Max

            To provide employment to the workers at the companies that build the cars, make the components, make the raw materials, to train engineers and apprentices… The list goes on. Its cheaper to provide these subsidies and have the companies and all the people paying taxes than it is to pay out the dole if they were unemployed.

          • Barry

            Also agree with the assistance the German companys get huwtm.They realize the value of the industry,as Mad Max said.
            Even the lower profile cars in Germany like Opel look fantastic.

          • Dave W

            That’s because the auto industry there really is valuable. GM recognise this and invest accordingly. 

            Europe is a huge market and German is right in the middle of it. Australia on the other hand, is a tiny market, and geographically far away from everything. That makes exporting very expensive.

            It’s common sense to invest in Opel rather than Holden.

          • JooberJCW

            Agree with Dave W, Australia is too isolated and such a small market with a high dollar value, and the fact 2 of the local industries build mainly for the local market.

          • $29896495

            Yes and German companies make 30 times more car types, they export world wide they are a thriving industry of innovators. They are bringing OS money back to Germany. Employing god knows how many. 

            As I said elsewhere on here, other than Toyota which is being successful. Ford and Holden have 1 model each. Ford are the only one producing an almost completely Australian car. But just one car per company isn’t enough. They need a range of cars that can be exported to stay alive. Or we’ll at best end up with what we had in the late 50s, CKD car packs being brought in and assembled here. That’s a best case scenario  Worst case everything becomes an import. But this is dependent on overseas companies who don’t feel any tie to this country. (GM)

          • John

            You are incredibly stubborn. The VE/VF Commodore is an Australian designed, engineered and built car. They completely designed a new platform for it, rather than use Opel’s. Ford have a sedan and an SUV, which makes two significantly different models, despite them being built on the same base.

          • $29896495

            Sam sam sam, you poor unfortunate. Holden is [part of the multinational GM conglomerate. It is not autonomous  At best The current Commodore was a joint venture with the US so it would fit in with their plans you know, G6, G8 etc. turned out to be a bit of a poor seller back then. So the US publications say. It does appear that we’ll be going back to Opel doesn’t it. When GM does a daewoo/SAAB on Holden. 

            As for Ford, you are quite wrong. They are still under the skin Falcon and Falcon wagon as many have said on here. That makes one model line. Both vehicles the same size – GET IT! Now use what brain you have. All three companies actually, but Ford and Holden in particular, need to be in different areas of the market not just the one that isn’t selling.

            If (keeping up) they were building MORE than one size car  here, (Not a CKD Cruise, like Holden) actually more styles of car. Like the old days, before you were born and not being smart enough to look in recent history, you won’t know. 

            Ford  had and were building here, Escorts, Cortinas, Transit vans, Falcons. In the golden years.

            Holden had the Torana, 4 and 6 and the “Holden” 

            Both with full ranges of cars. It doesn’t matter where they started life UK or Germany, they were being built here. SO, if something happened to the big cars, and they disappeared, the factories could remain open building the small and midsize cars. 

            Now let that sink in before you reply like a child and and abuse again.

  • Dave W

    Well… now you know what Holden means to GM… nothing.

    • $29896495

      Unfortunately Holden have no models to speak of, Opel have a full range which is also sold in the US as Buick. Still, you can see what’s going to happen next here.

      • Zaccy16

        yep, this is the money that holden used to get! also opel have a full range in the uk too badged as Vauxhalls 

      • Robert Ryan

         I wonder if you have heard of the Chevrolet SS?. The upmarket “New Chevrolet” to be sold in the US. Yes it is the new Commodore rebadged.

        • $29896495

          Not aware of the news Robert? It would appear that the Commodore is, before release, considered a flop. Hence the 500 job losses. It’s only going to be 5000 cars to the US, and it is still the one car, the Commodore with a different name.

          Opel have a FULL range of cars from city through small, mid, large and larger plus SUVs people movers etc. Holden have the Commodore essentially. That’s not enough. 

          What a lot of you seem to have forgotten is that Opel supplied us (Holden) with most of our cars, in some form or another, Torana, Gemini, Commodore etc all started life as Opels. From the beginning cars were US designed, then shrunk or modified here, then German designed  and modified here. 

          • Sam

            You are quite frankly the biggest idiot that comments on this site. As much as you want to believe otherwise, the VF Commodore has been received well, and cannot be considered a flop when you’ve only seen a couple of photos. Yes Opel has supplied bases for most Holdens. But to suggest that the Torana and Commodore aren’t Holdens is idiotic. They were significantly redesigned and engineered as well as built here. 

          • $29896495

            You are quite obviously immature. You have not been looking at what people have been saying here and in the US.  You have Not seen the 500 job cuts, that is not because they think the car is going to be a success.

            This isn’t Holden hating as you seem to think, it’s talking about the facts of the situation GMH is in at the moment. It’s simple minded immature people like you  who help perpetuate these problems by not opening your eyes to it and then doing something about it. It is your carnal love after all, but you would obviously rather see GM do a Daewoo/SAAB on it rather face what is happening.Seeing you love Holden so much, you should do some research on how cars end up here. How Holden was given preference by the government. Holden isn’t autonomous (word to big for you?) It is and always has been part of an international conglomerate. Your ignorance is embarrassing to Australia.

    • Shak

      The Camaro must have just popped out of thin air then. Also where do you think the $1 billion dollars GM is pouring into Australian manufacturing over the next ten years going to go? To Ford? To Toyota? I don’t think so mate. 

      • $29896495

        Well, GM seem to be fairly fluid and imaginative with their bookkeeping these days (?). So promises of future money I would take with a grain of salt until it actually materialises. (500 job losses remember)

      • Dave W

         Oh Wow… 1 billion over the next 10 years compared to almost 5 billion over the next 4 years. We get less in 10 years than what Opel will get in a year.

        But regardless… I know there are around 500 workers who won’t see a dime of that money. If they got paid $60k a year, I suppose that’s a $30 million a year saving that Holden can use to pay their executive bonuses.

        Think about it. Holden’s not doing well, they’re cutting jobs left and right… But do you hear anything about the bosses taking pay cuts? Nope. lol

  • Peanut

    After losses like that, where does all this money come from?
    I wish I could run my household budget like that.

    • Deutsch

      By closing a main operating plant in Bochum, losing 3300 staff and the factory a lot of money can be made from selling of assets and removing staff from the payroll. There will be a lot of foreign unemployed in Germany in 2014!! Roll those costs over the 10 year plan, you save a lot of money which can be used elsewhere. 

    • $29896495

      You have to remember Opel has just refreshed their line of cars, that comes up as a loss on the balance sheet. Tooling etc. If we had enough detail to remove those figures, things wouldn’t seem so bad. Same with Holden or any car company, losses with no model activity are the worry. Also Opel supplies Vauxhall as well as Buick.

      • Sgh

        If they’re sustaining huge losses from such small refreshes, then I can’t imagine the losses they’ll suffer when they soon replace the 7-year-old Corsa, 4-year-old Astra and 5-year-old Insignia.

        • $29896495

          They have just replaced over the last year or so all of the top 4 or 5 models. Plus the are gearing up to produce new engines, plus what they do for Buick’s range of cars which is all but the three door Astras and the performance cars.

          • Sgh

            I wouldn’t say replaced – more like minor refreshes.

          • $29896495

            You might say that but you wouldn’t be right. It started in 2010 with a completely new Astra 5 door, then they have between one and two cars a year since. Last year they had the Astra 3 door coupe, this year the Cascadia, there’s also the Adam the Meriva the Ampera. The latest being the Moka. All these double up with different fronts for Buick, also Vauxhall.

          • Sgh

            @huwtm:disqus You said: “They have just replaced over the last year or so all of the top 4 or 5 models.”
            The ‘completely new Astra 5 door’ was first released in 2009, so that’s a far cry from ‘the last year or so’. Also, you failed to mention the Insignia and Corsa, which would certainly be more ‘top 4 or 5′ than the Cascada or Ampera. Also, the Mokka and Adam weren’t replacements for existing model.

          • $29896495

            I checked the dates before I wrote anything. 2010 for the Astra. The point that I was making was that they have released many cars since 2010. Those two cars were according to the information available to me released 2009 and 2007. The ones I mentioned were all post 2010 till now. So that leaves two cars out of their range which have to be dealt with. The Corsa is being face lifted this year, not a new body according to the spy photos. The Insignia I haven’t researched.

            Point I make is valid though, it’s at least 6 completely new cars in the last two years in fact.

          • Sgh

            @huwtm:disqus No, it just sounds to me like you’re backtracking on your claim: “They have just replaced over the last year or so all of the top 4 or 5 models.” which was plain incorrect.

          • $29896495

            Nope not at all. I wrote year or so, being non specific. But in the past year alone there have been 4 completely new bodies. Mini people movers SUVs, a city car, coupes and convertibles  You’re trying to pick fault and I’ve gotten specific and backed it up so, I think this is over.

          • Sgh

            @huwtm:disqus Nope, not at all. “4 completely new bodies does” not equal your original claim of “replaced over the last year or so all of the top 4 or 5 models.” Mainly since Cascada, Ampera, Adam and Mokka were not replacements for existing models. Also, you claimed “all of the top 4 or 5 models”, but the Insignia and Corsa were not ‘replaced’ – refreshed at most, if that.

          • Guest13

            Save your time and energy. It’s huwtm…of course he makes no sense.
            Why should he destroy his hard earned reputation with logic or facts?

          • Out There

            Do not argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level & beat you with experience.

    • Rocket

      Shareholders and taxpayers essentially. The other German marques make profits because they charge more for their cars while Opel sell on price like the rest of GM.

      • bd

        Not quite.

        The Germans make $$ b/c they have plenty of overseas demands for their products, both in NA and Asia, as well as higher prices due to being luxury marques (aside from VW).

      • $29896495

        Overseas (meaning here no where else) maybe but in Germany, BMW and Mercs aren’t outrageously expensive. Hence the use as taxis and rep mobiles.

        • Robert Ryan

           Still far from inexpensive. European prices are not cheap.

  • Zahmad

    Probably the best technical and engineering prowess of gm worldwide along with holden….they deserve it!

    • Robert Ryan

       Very True and Opel provides the basis for many of GM’s sedans, otherwise without Opel and Holden, GM becomes using Mark Reuss’s words a ” basically a Midwest Pickup Truck Maker”

  • filippo

    Nice to see GM aren’t subjecting Opel to the slow and painful death-by-strangulation like they did with Saab.

    • Tone

      GM are obviously good at picking their battles.  They’re happy to upset the Swedes but don’t want to upset the Germans.  That said, I’m still pretty cranky with GM for running Saab into the ground.

  • Car Fanatic

    To put the government incentives into perspective, what was Holden’s profit to government input and what was VW’s profit to government input?

    The Germans are a lot smarter than us in that respect. They gave around $8 billion Aus in subsidies to the German Auto industry, the industry profits exceeded $35 billion Aus.

    Didn’t Holden’s profits equal the government subsidies?

    Hmmm, doesn’t make sense to waste money on a lame company