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West German Car Company Reports Huge Losses For 1984

June 24, 1985

RUSSELSHEIM, West Germany (AP) _ Opel, the West German car company owned by General Motors Corp., lost $227 million in 1984, the company’s worst year ever, its chairman announced Monday.

Opel recorded a profit of $100 million in 1983.

At a news conference announcing Opel’s 1984 results, managing board chairman Ferdinand Beickler said it was ″the most difficult year″ in the automaker’s history.

For the slump, Beickler blamed production and sales losses Opel suffered during the seven-week metalworkers’ strike in early summer of 1984 and a domestic sales drop caused by consumer confusion over proposed European auto emissions standards.

Opel’s sales fell 12.4 percent to $4.2 billion in 1984 from $4.8 billion a year earlier.

Beickler said Opel’s earnings were also hit by additional investment required to lower exhaust emissions. The investments were needed to meet proposed standards and broadly higher marketing costs stemming from the price war in the European auto market, he said.

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