General Motors' troubled Opel division has announced that it wants to overtake Ford and become Europe's second-largest automaker.
To achieve that ambitious goal, CEO Thomas Sedran explained that Opel will invest billions of euros in the development of new products and new technologies. Opel has nearly wrapped up one of its largest product offensive in recent memory which consists of the Chevrolet-based Mokka SUV, the stylish ADAM hatchback and the new Cascada convertible, models that are slowly moving the brand up a notch on the market. Opel is also counting the Volt-based Ampera to give it an edge on Europe's highly-unexploited plug-in hybrid market.
In spite of the new products, overtaking Ford will be easier said than done because years of jaw-dropping financial losses have taken a heavy toll on GM's German division. In September of 2012, Opel sold 15.6 percent less cars than in September of 2011. As it stands, the automaker holds a 7.5 percent share of the European market, trailing Ford by 0.7 percent. Volkswagen has the top spot with 11.9 percent of the European market.
The company's losses have led many to speculate that the brand will be merged with PSA Peugeot-Citroën, sold or simply shuttered. The forecast is far from bright but Sedran remains optimistic that making a full recovery and overtaking Ford is not out of reach.
"With hard work we will again achieve success," he said in an interview with Germany's Auto Bild.