Rüsselsheim. Mary Barra made her first overseas trip as GM’s new CEO to Opel headquarters here, where she met with employees, toured the assembly plant and visited the International Technical Development Center (ITDC).
Barra was joined by GM’s new President, Dan Ammann, whom she also announced has been nominated to succeed Steve Girsky as chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board.
“I’m very pleased to have the chance to meet with our employees here,” said Barra, who became GM’s CEO on Jan. 15 this year. “I thought it was very important to reinforce in person GM’s commitment to Opel, its importance to the company and the need to accelerate our progress going forward. I am also pleased to confirm that we will add another model to our Rüsselsheim plant.” For competitive reasons, the company is not in a position to reveal any details at this point of time.
“With Dan Ammann nominated to succeed Steve Girsky as chairman of the Opel Supervisory Board and with KT Neumann leading the Opel team, I’m confident that we can achieve our goal to break-even in Europe by mid-decade,” she added.
Barra noted that GM is investing €4 billion in Germany and Europe through 2016, which will help bring 23 new products and 13 new engines to market: “We must remain focused on the customer and delivering great, innovative products to the market on a consistent and sustained basis,” she said. “That is how we will win here and all around the world.”
During her visit, Barra toured the Rüsselsheim plant, home to 3,300 employees and where the award-winning Opel Insignia and Astra models are built. She also visited the ITDC, GM’s second largest development center in the world, where more than 6,000 engineers, technicians and designers are working on the latest technologies for future GM vehicles.
Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann said the Opel team was thrilled to have hosted Barra and Ammann: “We are honored that Mary and Dan chose Opel as the first GM location to visit outside the company’s Detroit headquarters. It reinforced for all of us the importance of Opel to GM and the support we will continue to receive as we drive to return Opel and its products to greatness.”