Looks like General Motors is going back to Europe
As GM primarily leaves Europe in 2017 by selling Opel and Vauxhall, it looks poised to do just that, has lost more than 20 billion dollars in the previous 18 years. It also makes some sense, because why would you buy a GM product in Europe when you can buy almost anything differently? Like, I don’t know, a Dacia Sandero or something. However, GM said this week it will probably return to Europe without much evidence anyone is asking.
GM says it thinks there’s an opportunity with EVs, in particular, as opposed to all those internal-combustion Opels and Vauxhalls for which it lost a lot of money. GM still sells some Cadillacs and Corvettes across the pond, but in relatively small quantities. Its new ambitions seem to go beyond that.
From Detroit Free Press:
“About 5 years ago we sold our Opel business to Stellantis now and we have no seller remorse for the internal combustion equipment business.” [GM CEO Mary Barra] said during an appearance at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles. “But we are looking at the growth opportunity we have now, because we can go back to Europe as a full electric player. I hope.”
Barra also congratulated GM on the timing of its exit from Europe.
“This has been a difficult decision for General Motors,” Barra said in 2017. “But we are united in our belief that it was the right decision.”
Barra reaffirmed that view on Monday, noting that GM’s minimal presence in Europe at the moment – with high gas prices, expensive raw materials and the Ukraine-Russia war – is a lucky thing.
“The specific conditions in Europe right now, we don’t have to deal with,” Barra said.
I’m guessing that GM is looking to start with its Cadillac EVs in Europe, since Cadillac is already there, and let’s see how they perform and start from there. It’s likely that GM will also sell the Hummer EV in Europe, although that seems to me more difficult to sell, being as big and heavy as it is, and the streets in European cities too small. If GM starts selling Bolt EUVs in Europe, that will be a sign of real ambition, or at least a sign that GM will increase numbers. But, again, why would you buy a Bolt EUV when you could buy a Honda E or even a Renault Zoe? The European car market has only continued to differentiate from the US market since 2017, when GM was perhaps too American for this market.