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GM will be patient with Opel turnaround, CEO Akerson says

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GM will be patient with Opel turnaround, CEO Akerson says

Automotive News Europe -- September 16, 2010 15:43 CET

(Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. will be “patient” with efforts to turn around its unprofitable European Opel/Vauxhall unit, CEO Dan Akerson said.

Akerson, who took over as GM CEO on Sept. 1, doesn't see a need to find a partner for Opel at this time, he told reporters today at GM's headquarters in Detroit. As GM's fourth CEO in 18 months, Akerson, 61, is looking to revive the European unit, where losses totaled $637 million before interest and taxes in the first half.

Akerson became CEO this month after Ed Whitacre, 68, stepped down to give GM a longer-term executive as it sells investors on the company's initial public offering.

GM received a $50 billion taxpayer bailout related to its bankruptcy in June 2009. The company is seeking to raise as much as $16 billion in its IPO, a person familiar with the plans said in August.

Akerson, a former Carlyle Group managing director, said he wants the United States to be fully repaid, but he sees reimbursement as a process rather than happening in “one fell swoop.”

He didn't specify a time period for repayment.

The offering will reduce stakes held by the United States and Canada, and may be the second-biggest stock sale in U.S. history behind Visa Inc.'s $19.7 billion share sale in March 2008.

Akerson said he is “pleased with results so far” for U.S. sales in September. GM said U.S. deliveries fell 25 percent last month, to 185,176 from 246,479, as the industry posted its worst August in 28 years. Sales year-to-date have increased 6.3 percent from the year-earlier period, according to researcher Autodata Corp., based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Akerson said he has no immediate plans for management changes.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100916/ANE/100919894/1193#ixzz0zhl7E4Zq

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They can't be too patient. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a new Fiesta over here, yet I've only seen a few newish Corsas, two new Astras, and about 4 Insignias.

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If the business bled cash like Hell he'd be in a rush... So perhaps he knows that part of Opel's (as well as SAAB's) money drain was due to some 'interesting' cost allocations designed to fund the North American cancer?... Just a thought that occurred to me...

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