Growing demand for electric vehicles in Europe may see General Motors return to the market, according to CEO Mary Barra.
“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,” Barra said during the Milken Global Conference help in Los Angeles earlier this month, according to the Detroit Free Press.
GM ended an almost nine-decade long presence in Europe following its 2017 sale of Opel to PSA Group, now part of Stellantis. By selling the loss-making unit, GM was able to focus on its profitable Chinese and North American markets, as well as development of EV and self-driving technology that's only now being rolled out.
GM CEO Mary Barra
GM never completely cut its ties with Europe. Even after the Opel sale, GM continued to offer specialty models like the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette in a handful of European countries. A timeline for return as a volume player in Europe hasn't been mentioned.
GM also sees mobility services as an opportunity in Europe, including potentially services from self-driving technology company Cruise AV, which GM is the main shareholder of. The automaker last fall established a mobility division in Europe focused on offering self-driving technology, freight and logistics services, and other software services. The division is led by Mahmoud Samara, who was previously head of Cadillac sales in North America.
“Europe is the second largest and fastest growing electric vehicle market in the world, presenting a significant opportunity as GM is about to roll out its comprehensive and cutting-edge EV and AV portfolio,” Samara said in a statement last fall.