Sure, GM Europe Is Gone, but the Automaker Hasn't Entirely Pulled up Stakes

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
sure gm europe is gone but the automaker hasn t entirely pulled up stakes

General Motors vacated the continent in fine style last year, flushing the Vauxhall and Opel brand to Groupe PSA in a deal worth about 2.2 billion Euro. However, it turns out Ren Cen remains as a lingering presence in moving metal across the pond.

All this was spurred by a tweet by David Shepardson of Reuters revealing The General sold about 3,000 vehicles in the first nine months of 2018, compared to 684,000 during the same period one year ago. This makes sense, given the sloughing of Vauxhall/Opel.

Since the word “Europe” shows up exactly zero times in GM’s Q3 earnings report, it left your author wondering: what models comprised those sales? Not the ones I thought, as it turns out.

GM maintains a network of Cadillac dealers in Europe and, as it happens, they sell more machines than just those inviting us to Dare Greatly. Two of them, apparently: the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette.

Post-Opel sale — In the first nine months of 2018, @GM sold 3,000 vehicles in Europe down from 684,000 in same period in 2017

— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) October 31, 2018

Some digging showed that Cadillac topped out in the 2007 calendar year in terms of European volume, moving approximately 3,000 units by itself during those 12 months. Last year, they rang up 916 sales. Currently shown on the European build and price tool are the trio of Escalade, CTS-V, and CT6.

Here’s where GM nameplates stand through to the end of August in Europe, with numbers hewn from

Those Corvette sales are extrapolated, as specific numbers were not readily available for that nameplate. However, knowing the monthly totals, we subtracted Cadillac and Camaro (and the small Daewoo volume) to arrive at the number you see in the chart. Aren’t we bloody clever. Given the pricing delta between Camaro and Corvette, plus seasonal demand, the figures shown are reasonable.

Speaking of pricing, a quick peek at the pricing tool on Cadillac’s site revealed what our neighbors are paying compared to the Monroney here at home. For example, an Escalade ESV Platinum 4×4 with a few extras listed as standard in Europe carries a sticker of $101,190 in America. The same truck lists for £99,440 in the UK, or $128,542 at today’s exchange rate.

Swinging the needle are France’s Cadillac dealers, who charge €124,070 for the same machine, a sum equal to $141,421 of today’s American dollars. The fact that comparable vehicles cost more in Europe is not a surprise to any gearhead, but it is always interesting to see how the other half lives.

The numbers shown above include sales in the countries of *draws breath* Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland *exhales*.

If anyone can read that list like the guys who used to blurt out the types of mail-order diplomas they used to advertise on TV, give yourself a round of applause.

[Image: General Motors]

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2 of 16 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Nov 02, 2018

    Those are exactly the models I would think could sell there, why bother with any of the other ones?

  • Beken Beken on Nov 02, 2018

    I saw a Corvette near Buckingham Palace while in London last month. I think that was the only American car I saw in my 10 days there.

  • Chris P Bacon I had a chance to drive 2 Accords back to back as rentals. The first was a base ICE LX. I was underwhelmed. The next was a Sport Hybrid. Like night and day. So much so that I ventured on to the grounds of my local dealer. Was looking for a Sport or Sport-L. Autotrader showed nothing within 250 miles. Dealer confirmed. Told me I'd have to "get on the list" for a delivery, and there was a non-negotiable $3k "market adjustment". I guess I'll have to hope to see one on the Emerald Aisle again.
  • DungBeetle62 I just this past weekend rented one of these for 5 days in SoCal and with $5.29 the best I could find for gas, this ride's wonderful combination of comfort and thrift was welcome indeed. My biggest real beef is with the entire Accord product line - with that angle of backlight, not having this as a 5-door hatch seems a real waste of space.
  • RICHARD I bought my wife the exact car in the picture 3 weeks ago. Acceleration is average for the class. Smoothness of the powertrain, competent ride dynamics, quietness, and comfort are definitely pluses. The styling is restrained for sure, but we weren't looking for a shouty car that doesn't deliver on the design statement. She drives about 8,000 miles per year, mostly around town. At the current rate, we expect to buy about 16 gallons of gas per month. This really is a car that appears to do everything well rather than excelling at a few things to the detriment of others.
  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!