FRANKFURT Dec 23 General Motors'
European unit Opel is cautiously optimistic that sales will grow
enough in 2014 to avoid a further round of cost cutting, Chief
Executive Karl-Thomas Neumann told newspaper Sueddeutsche
Opel is on track to reach profitability by 2016, Neumann
said, but the company expects a difficult year ahead, weighed
down by restructuring costs for ending vehicle production at its
factory in Bochum in Germany.
"If the world doesn't come to an end, we should keep
growing, and then we don't need additional cost savings,"
Neumann said in an interview with the paper.
GM is sticking with a 4 billion euro ($5.5 billion)
investment plan for Opel and the strategy for the loss-making
European subsidiary will remain in place even after a change of
leadership at GM headquarters in Detroit, Neumann said.
"I will stay with Opel a long time. This is no short-term
matter," Neumann said, adding that he could fight Opel's corner
because he was also a member of key GM committees in Detroit.
"I am responsible for General Motors in Europe, so I'm head
of Europe for Detroit. I stand for Opel and will fight for the
brand," Neumann said, while adding that he could not work
Neumann said Opel's cooperation with Peugeot of France
would continue even after GM said it would sell down
its 7 percent stake and the French auto maker announced it would
seek closer ties to Dongfeng.
"We do not want to marry or adopt Peugeot," Neumann said, "We
will continue to work together on projects which are of mutual