General Motors, the biggest US automaker, is "optimistic" about Europe as the manufacturer shifts marketing of the Chevrolet brand in the region to its Asian and Middle Eastern unit.
The General Motors International Operations unit, which already sells GM's brands including Chevrolet outside the Americas and central and western Europe, will take on the new market as of January 1, Tim Lee, president of the division, said in an interview.
GM's global third-quarter profit fell 2.5 per cent and the Detroit-based carmaker abandoned a goal yesterday of breaking even this year in Europe, where it makes Opel and Vauxhall models, as economic conditions in the region deteriorate. Lee's GMIO unit was the automaker's only business outside North America to report a profit in the quarter, in contrast to losses at GM Europe and in South America.
"I am very optimistic that between the divisions — Chevrolet, Opel and Vauxhall — we can find good synergies and improve our business conditions," Lee said. GM expects a "very strong" end to the year in GMIO's markets, Lee said. The unit is also responsible for GM's business in Africa and former Soviet countries including Russia. Floods in Thailand, currently in the 15th week, won't have any material impact on GM's operations in the country in the fourth quarter, Lee said.