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GM Revamps Opel Insignia

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In a bid to revive its fortune, General Motors Company’s (GM - Free Report) subsidiary Adam Opel AG is revamping its mid-size car Insignia. The sedan will boast new engine and dashboard instruments.

Opel has been struggling to turn profitable for over a decade now and refurbishing its existing car models is a key strategy adopted for the purpose. This is the eighth model among its eleven cars queued up for remodeling over the past three years. The parent, General Motors, has also had a tough time in Europe with losses in the region piling up to $18 billion since 1999.

The revamped Insignia, under production at Frankfurt suburb of Ruesselsheim, will feature an efficient turbo diesel or gasoline motors, simplified touch-pads and voice-activated navigation, radio and wireless controls. General Motors intends to showcase the sedan at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September. With a starting price of €24,325 ($32,500) (including sales tax), Insignia is Opel’s costliest car.

General Motors refrained from selling Opel to Magna International Inc. (MGA - Free Report) and Russian partner OAO Sberbank during the global economic crisis in 2009. The company’s executives promised to turn it profitable by 2015.

General Motors also took several initiatives to sustain profitability including closure of an auto factory in Germany, reduction of workforce across Europe and pay freeze. GM European operations showed improvement during the second quarter of 2013 as it reported a narrower adjusted loss of $110 million compared with $394 million in the year-ago quarter.

Currently, General Motors retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other stocks that are performing well in the industry include Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) and Volkswagen AG (VLKAY - Free Report) . Volkswagen is a Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) stock while Ford carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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