General Motors Europe (GME) says it is targeting a further US$500m in savings from 2013 to 2015 and is expecting to reduce fixed costs by around US$300m this year as it looks to break even by mid-decade.

The automaker today (31 October) posted a third quarter EBIT-adjusted loss of $500m in Europe though, globally, it booked a net profit down 12% year on year from $1.7bn to $1.5bn.

Cost reduction in Europe this year has been aided by a 100,000-unit fall in company and dealer-owned inventory since February, with an additional 20,000 reduction planned by the end of the year, and the elimination of around 2,600 positions in 2012. Around 2,300 redundancies have already occurred.   

GME added further savings would happen by its drive to align its production capacity with market demand, which will continue to be impacted by the European sovereign debt crisis for at least the next several years.

"Our objectives are to...grow the business and achieve sustainable profitability in Europe," said GM Europe acting president, Steve Girsky. "Achieving break-even results will be a significant milestone in GME's long-term ‘Drive Opel 2022' plan. This path to profitability targets earning higher revenue from today's vehicles. At the same time, we will significantly reduce our break-even level from where it is today."

"We have an aggressive, multi-billion dollar product plan that will deliver 23 new models and 13 new engines though 2016." Many of Opel/Vauxhall's near-term launches are in entirely new segments, including the Mokka and ADAM this year, and the Cascada next year."

In 2010, GME closed a major assembly plant in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2015, GM will launch its next-generation Opel Astra in two plants with each operating three production shifts, compared with the three plants that currently build the car. 

Additionally, there is no allocation of future product to the Bochum site planned after run-out of the current Opel Zafira in 2014, subject to consultation.

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