Approximately five years ago, PSA Group acquired Opel and later announced a 50:50 merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to form what is now known as Stellantis. With its decision to sell the German brand, General Motors basically left the European continent where it no longer produces cars. This could change in the foreseeable future as the American manufacturer is considering a return as an EV automaker, according to a new report from the Detroit Free Press.
Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, said earlier this week during an appearance at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles that General Motors could return to making business in Europe as it transforms into an EV-only automaker. The company’s current plans include a switch to a completely zero-emissions model range by the middle of the next decade.
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"About five years ago, we sold our Opel business to what is now Stellantis and we have no seller's remorse from an internal combustion business," Barra explained. "But we are looking at the growth opportunity that we have now because we can reenter Europe as an all-EV player. I'm looking forward to that."
In fact, GM never fully left the Old continent. The automaker is still selling the Chevrolet Corvette in selected markets, as well as some Cadillacs through a small dealer network in Western Europe. These are all niche products, though, but GM sees potential in bringing its next-generation mainstream electric vehicles. The company is also working on a mobility startup business on the continent, which is currently led by Mahmoud Samara, former Cadillac vice president for North America.
China and North America will continue to be GM’s top priorities, but “our team will develop our plans to bring our best products and services to customers in Europe,” Samara said. It’s difficult to predict which new products GM is considering offering in Europe, but a selection of luxury Cadillac-branded EVs is probably a safe bet. The premium automaker will have an electric-only lineup by the end of this decade.