* Opel to invest 245 mln euros for new model in Ruesselsheim
* Opel to cease exports to China, start production of Buick
* Opel, Buick brands to focus on different geographies
(Adds CEO statement, details of GM strategy)
FRANKFURT, March 28 General Motors unit
Opel will make two additional vehicles at its plant in
Ruesselsheim, Germany, including a Buick destined for the United
States, it said on Friday.
The move forms part of a strategy to intertwine the Opel and
Buick product ranges to share development costs, while focusing
Opel sales in Europe, and Buick sales in the United States and
Opel already makes four variants of its Insignia sedan,
which shares the same underpinnings as the Buick Regal, at the
"Buick production in Ruesselsheim will further improve our
capacity utilisation," Opel Chief Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann
said in a statement.
In January 2015 Opel will stop exports to China.
"It would have cost hundreds of millions of euros to raise
awareness of the Opel brand and to expand the distribution
network. Buick, however, is one of the market leaders in China
and we plan to intensify our future collaboration, with several
projects currently under examination," Neumann said.
Opel sold only 4,365 cars in China last year, compared with
Buick, which sold 810,000 cars.
Opel said it would invest 245 million euros ($337 million)
to build a new model at the factory. The investment comes on top
of a 4 billion euros investment slated for Germany and Europe to
overhaul Opel's ageing product range with 23 new products and 13
The auto maker revealed in December that it planned to make
a new car, but declined to give further details as a way to
preserve a competitive advantage.
($1 = 0.7278 Euros)
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Christoph Steitz and