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Auto Industry

GM alters sales structures to boost Opel's Russia revenues

Ailing German auto maker Opel has said it's hoping to crank up sales in Russia's booming car market. US parent company General Motors decided to change its sales division structures to help make this happen.

A change in GM's in-house sales organization structures should support its European subsidiary Opel to enhance the German auto maker's position in Russia, General Motors said October 18.

The US automotive giant decided that GM's Russia business would in future be organized and supervised from Rüsselsheim in Germany, Opel's and GM's European headquarters.

So far, GM sales in Russia had been managed from General Motors International Operations in Shanghai.

Hoping for a brighter future

GM' shot in the arm for Opel

It's the right decision at the right moment," Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann commented, adding that Russia was likely to become the biggest sales market for European auto makers in the years ahead.

Russia is already Opel's third most important European market after Germany and the UK. Last year, the company sold 80,000 units there, thus logging considerably higher growth than the overall market.

Right now, Opel has a market share of 3 percent in Russia and over 6 percent in Europe in general. Opel cars are already produced in a facility on the ground in St. Petersburg. Besides Opel cars, GM also sells Chevrolet and Cadillac models in the country.

hg/hc (AFP, dpa)

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