After pulling the trigger on a sale of its European operations, General Motors signaled that it's willing to cut off more vestigial corners of its business in a decidedly unsentimental drive to improve its profit margins and stock price.
CEO Mary Barra made clear last week that the Opel deal is not the end of the automaker's effort to pare its portfolio, though other moves under consideration are unlikely to have the sweeping impact of effectively abandoning one of the world's largest and most mature markets.
"There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets," Barra told reporters on a conference call from Paris, after announcing Opel's sale to PSA Group of France in a deal that shrinks GM's global volume by 12 percent. "Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital."
That level of accountability -- after previous regimes tolerated more than $20 billion in losses in Europe since 1999 -- encapsulates how dramatically Barra and her leadership team are shaking up a company that for decades coveted its status as the world's largest automaker.