It may be a while before we know what is going to happen at Opel and to plants like Bochum

It may be a while before we know what is going to happen at Opel and to plants like Bochum

All eyes this side of the Atlantic were on GM this week as it announced its 2011 results, looking to see if the prediction of a US$1bn loss in Europe turned out right. Er, no, just an EBIT-adjusted loss of US$0.7bn, "an improvement of $1.3bn over 2010" and rather offset by the record $7.6bn greenbacks netted elsewhere.

There'll be some worry in GM plants at Bochum and Ellesmere Port for a while yet as GM's gameplan for Europe remains unclear, other than a steely determination to make Opel work, but how they can do that without knocking out some of Europe's overcapacity isn't known so far.

There were also some pretty miserable results from, and talking of selling family silver at PSA, though Renault, like its French compatriot fast eyeing markets outside Europe, managed a healthy boost in operating profit. And all of this attracted comment from our very own Rob Golding.

JLR buoyed up parent Tata Motors' third quarter and there was an interesting development in Colombia where it looks like years of kit assembly could start morphing into something closer to full manufacture. GM's going to press panels and Renault's Dacia Duster assembly is for Latin America, not just the domestic market.

And we welcomed a new writer to our series of Management Briefings - this gent really knows his manufacturing.

I recently spent an enjoyable week in Nissan's voltswagen, aka Leaf, and the report is here. Pretty good first out of the box effort, and way more like a 'real car' than the motorised roller skate that is Mitsubishi's kei-car sized i-MiEV, the Nissan looks and feels much more substantial. Renault's EVs will have to be next on the agenda, now.

Have a nice weekend.

Graeme Roberts, Deputy Editor,