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Chinese Opel owners worrying about future maintenance as manufacturer plans to leave market


Gasgoo.com - Opel has officially halted sales of its new sales in China. While it may be easy for Opel to shrink its dealership network and stop sales services, its a little bit more difficult for dealerships, who now have to find new brands to sell. However, the situation is even worse for Opel owners, who now have to consider where they will go to service their vehicles and gain access to the necessary auto parts.

Opel currently has 22 dealerships and 55 certified after sales service centers in China. However with the news that Opel is halting those new sales, many of those dealerships have already left the network, as their maintenance certifications are also being cancelled. As a result, even though many dealerships are still technically in operation, both their showrooms and repair shops are no longer in operation. Many dealerships have slashed prices on remaining inventory, with vehicles being sold for nearly 40 percent off their original suggested retail price.

Opel China has previously stated that it will continue to provide auto part supply for its certified outlets for the next decade, as well guarantee that prices of said parts remains within reasonable limits. Opel China also stated that it would be extending warrantees for vehicles sold after March 2011 whose total mileage was still under 160,000 km.

However, with both dealerships and service centers leaving the Opel network, owners are worried that they wont be able to take advantage of their warrantees. Beijing only has five certified Opel service centers left, which also happened to sell other vehicles. While a representative from a center was adamant in stating they are doing their best to uphold their part of the bargain, which includes providing services at fair prices, he added that: its hard for anyone to predict what the case will be like several years from now.

Opels decision to leave China is in part due to GMs global strategy GM is very specific regarding the development of its brands in specific markets. In the GM strategy, Buick is aimed at the Chinese and US markets, while Opel is focused on the European market. Worth pointing out is that Opels European sales last year exceeded 1.06 million units, and continued to grow the following year. The costs saved by leaving the China market ensure Opel can focus on its most successful market.



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