Opel chief Nick Reilly says the company plans to generate an operating profit margin of 4-5% within four years.

He told the Financial Times that such a figure would give a good return on investment and capital.

Reilly said Opel faced another tough year in 2010, when scrapping incentives around Europe expired, but added the carmaker aimed to break even by 2011 and to make a "decent" profit from 2012.

Although Europe should be Opel's main focus, Reilly said the carmaker could later expand to South America, the Middle East or other parts of Asia. His restructuring plan for loss-making Opel is due in mid January.

This will include around 8,300 job cuts from Opel's workforce of 50,000 in a EUR3.3bn (US$4.85bn) overhaul that seeks state aid from countries with Opel plants including Germany, Britain, Spain and Poland.

Separately, Opel labour leader Klaus Franz said talks with General Motors' management over a plan for the future of its European unit should be finished by mid-February.

He told Reuters: "We don't have a large time window before we have to have everything resolved."

Unions are demanding that the plan to shut Opel's Antwerp plant in Belgium, should be abandoned and that there should be no forced layoffs. Franz added that another obstacle is whether GM would agree to reduce the 5% royalty Opel pays its parent company for every car sold.

Franz is in talks with GM over offering EUR265m ($386m) in wage concessions for the 50,000 employees at Opel and British sister brand Vauxhall.

He is also calling on GM to trim excess layers of management and present a sustainable business case for Opel including investment to fill gaps in its model range.