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"We don't have a big position" in the highly profitable European luxury segment, Mr Wagoner acknowledged.

And he offers no plans for a quick fix.

"We do expect over time to grow the Saab volume," he said, adding that a recent distribution agreement with Kroymans should gradually help carve out a European market for both Cadillac and Corvette.

"We have plans and ambitions, but [also] a lot of work in front of us in the upscale category," Mr Wagoner said.

"It is going to be building from a small volume base and it is going to take some time."


Industry observers believe new Saab models could go some way to help, and indeed they are being built.

Saab's first sports utility vehicle, the 9-7X is due to be on display at this month's New York Motor Show, and there is also the 9-2X, a smaller four wheel drive that is based on a GM's Japanese subsidiary Subaru and thus nicknamed the Saabaru.

The problem is that both cars are aimed at the US market, and any arrival in Europe is likely to be at least several years down the line.

GM Europe's approach to the UK market is also criticised by motoring industry experts who bemoan the car maker's lack of commitment to convert some key Saab and Cadillac models to right-hand drive.


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