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GM to end Opel sales in China by January 2015

GM will end Opel sales in China by January 2015, according to a company news release.

Opel has decided to change the export strategy for the Chinese market, and sales of the Opel brand in China will cease as of January 2015. “This is a long overdue decision,” said Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “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.”

GM ever planned in 2010 to launch four Opel brand new models in the following three years and expand sales to 20,000 vehicles in an attempt to recover the brand. However, slow distribution networks building and week brand promotion dragged Opel’s expansion in China.

Opel sold around 5,000 vehicles in China in 2011. Sales of the brand declined to about 4,500 cars in 2012. Last year, 22 Opel dealers in China sold a total of 4,365 vehicles, accounting for only less than 0.14 percent of GM’s total sales of 3.16 million units in the country.

Opel, which entered the China market in 1993, has missed many market opportunities because the brand was seen as a supplementary of Buick and Chevrolet, another two GM’s brands which performed much better in sales in China.

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