Beijing - General Motors (GM) will pull Opel from China next year after failing to gain traction in the market over the past two decades and will invest in Europe to boost the German car brand’s sales in its home region.

Opel, which has been in China since 1993, has never grown beyond a low-volume, niche player in the country, accounting for less than 1 percent of GM’s sales in the market last year.

The marque would spend e245 million (R3.6 billion) to add two models at the main Ruesselsheim factory in the coming years, the company said on Friday.

GM, which was outsold by Volkswagen in China last year for the first time in nine years, has been reorganising brands to give more focus to its global offerings.

In December last year GM said it would pull the Chevrolet marque out of Europe, where GM is trying to restore profit at Opel and UK sister division Vauxhall, and that its Holden unit would stop producing cars in Australia.

“What GM is doing is to try make it clearer who’s responsible for what,” Erich Hauser, an analyst at International Strategy & Investment Group in London, said. - Bloomberg