FRANKFURT (Reuters) - General Motors Co <GM.N> Chief Executive Dan Akerson told a German newspaper that Opel can be successful with its new cost structure, and reiterated the European brand was not for sale.
"We would never give Opel away. Opel contributes to our global size and is not for sale, end of discussion," Akerson said in an interview published in the Thursday edition of Financial Times Deutschland.
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Akerson underlined his commitment to the European brand in a bid to quash rumors circulating in Germany that General Motors may divest the Opel brand, which last year accounted for 13 percent of GM's total sales.
"Unfortunately there are some people in Germany who apparently have an interest in warming up these rumors," Akerson told the paper.
Speculation about Opel's future began in early June with reports by German media that the European unit could be sold with possible buyers including Chinese automakers or Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE>.
With its new cost structure, Opel can do much more than survive, and even become successful, Akerson told FT Deutschland, adding that General Motors was profitable in Europe in the second quarter.
Akerson also reiterated the company's expectation that U.S. auto sales will be close to 13 million vehicles this year.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor)