GM's Barra pledges support for Opel in Germany

Jan. 27, 2014 at 1:20 PM
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RUSSELSHIEM, Germany, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said Monday the company would add a third model to an Opel plant in Russelsheim, Germany.

Less than a month into her new job, Barra went to Russelsheim to make the announcement, where her presence was symbolic support for the GM brand that lost $200 million August through September in 2013, a drop from the $500 million, third-quarter loss in 2012, the New York Times reported.

"It is no accident that I chose to come to Germany. I thought it was very important to reinforce in person GM's commitment to Opel," Barra said in remarks delivered in the atrium of a GM office facility in Russelsheim.

Opel gained a slight market share in Europe in 2013, climbing from 6.4 percent in December 2012 to 6.8 percent in December 2013, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said.

That was the first market share improvement for Opel in 14 years, the Times said.

Barra declined to say what the third model for the Russelsheim assembly plant would be, stating she did not want to tip off the competition.

The plant makes the European version of the Buick Regal, which is called the Insignia. It also expects to produce Zafira minivans.

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