New Vauxhall/Opel CEO Nick Reilly has revealed in a letter to the company’s 48,000 employees that he intends for the company to become a global player with a new marketing message and the gaps in its product and line-up filled.
Reilly urged staff to adopt a “winner” mentality as he tries to turn around the money-losing European division of GM, but also warned that the car maker faces a difficult year ahead and he expects European new car sales to fall by 1.5 million.
“It is time for Vauxhall/Opel to be clear winners again and to be recognized as clear winners,” Reilly said in a personal message to employees.
Reilly will present his restructuring proposals for Opel at the end of the month and his plan is expected to include the elimination of 8,300 jobs and the closure of Opel’s factory in Antwerp, Belgium.
Opel needs 3.3 billion euros to finance its plan and is seeking 2.7 billion euros in financial aid from governments in the countries where it has factories.
“We don’t just have to turn our operating results around in normal circumstances. We must deal with a very difficult market environment. In 2010 we expect the Western European market to be 1.5 million units lower than an already weak 2009. So, we need to move fast,” Reilly wrote.
He said a working group has been set up to define Vauxhall/Opel’s core values and ensure that the car maker’s products and advertising “clearly come from the same home.”
Reilly said Opel also promised that there will be more autonomy. Opel managers and union representatives have complained that decisions affecting Opel have been taken at GM’s HQ in Detroit without fully understanding what Opel needs to compete in Europe.
Source: Automotive News