Opel Pulls out of Russia, GM to Focus on Cadillac, 'iconic' Chevys
19 March 2015 - Autoblog
General Motors is going to realign its priorities in the struggling Russian marketplace, withdrawing its Opel brand and pulling out mainstream Chevrolet models. Instead, the General will take aim at Russia's well-established oligarchy, pushing Cadillac as well as "iconic" Chevrolet models, like the Corvette, Camaro and Tahoe.
"This change in our business model in Russia is part of our global strategy to ensure long-term sustainability in markets where we operate," GM president Dan Ammann said in a statement. "This decision avoids significant investment into a market that has very challenging long-term prospects."
Russian customers interested in an Opel or mainstream Chevys like the Spark, Aveo (the US market Sonic), Cobalt (shown above), Cruze, Orlando and the like have until December to snap up a car before the brands are pulled.
"We do not have the appropriate localization level for important vehicles built in Russia and the market environment does not justify a major investment to further localize." Opel Group CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann said.
GM will continue to offer service to customers in Russia. "We can assure our customers that we will continue to provide warranty, parts and services for their Chevrolet and Opel vehicles," Neumann said.
Beyond realigning its brands in Russia, GM also announced that it would also be idling the company's factory in the country's second-largest city, St. Petersburg. This is the second time the St. Petersburg factory has been in the news – GM announced that it'd be idled for roughly two months back in February.