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Imports Interested in Opel Despite GM's Withdrawal from Taiwan

Feb 03, 2012 | By CENS

Taipei, Feb. 3, 2012 (CENS)--General Motors (GM) of the United States, a top carmaker globally, reportedly plans to withdraw from Taiwan after extended bleak sales on the island.

GM set up a joint venture, the Yulon GM Motors Co. Ltd., in Taiwan seven years ago to sell imported Cadillacs, Buicks and Opels, as well as having introduced the Buick Excelle compact sedan and Buick LaCrosse full-sized sedan for local assembly.

Struggling with anemic sales in late 2008, GM decided to hand over free its 49% stake in Yulon GM to Yulon, after spending its original capitalization.

Yulon GM sold all its in-stock vehicles in 2011 and closed all dealers throughout Taiwan, but promised to continue repair and maintenance services to all GM owners.

However, industry sources say that many importers are interested in continuing to sell Opels in Taiwan, as does Scandinavia-Asia Corp., the long-term importer of Saabs.

Industry insiders say that both Opels and Saabs, being GM affiliates, share many parts with GM cars, with Scandinavia-Asia managers admitting that the company has the full capability to service Opels.

Scandinavia-Asia managers say they had received phone calls from Opel's European headquarters in 2011 twice asking about the company's interest in taking over Opel's dealership in Taiwan, but replied that Saab is still the top priority currently.

Only Ford has a foothold in Taiwan, being the No. 4 brand for a long time. Chrysler, the other top American carmaker, a few years ago tried to partner with China Motor Corp. of the Yulon Group to locally assemble a minivan and sold some imports on the island, but failed and is no longer in the market.


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