We need to be more like Volkswagen: GM Europe

General Motors admits it needs to become more like Volkswagen if it is to turn around a decade of losses in Europe.
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GM vice chairman Steve Girsky told Germany’s Financial Times Deutschland the company should look to the Volkswagen Group as an example of how to succeed with multiple brands in the region.

GM currently manages four brands in Europe – Cadillac, Chevrolet, Opel and Vauxhall – and Girsky says there needs to be greater inter-company technology sharing for them to be successful individually and as a group. “Other companies sell more than one brand in Europe. If we could achieve this as well as they [Volkswagen] do, then we could also prosper,” he said.

Girsky is the man charged with the unenviable task of turning around GM’s fortunes in Europe. GM hasn’t recorded a profit in Europe in more than 10 years and lost US$1.6 billion ($1.56 billion) last year alone. Despite being the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer in 2011, GM will make another loss in Europe this year.

Girsky said GM was working on a fresh plan to resurrect Opel, after admitting the current strategy to make the German arm of the business profitable had failed. Opel announced a US$300 million ($293 million) loss in the third quarter of this year.