By on November 19, 2009


Automotive News [sub] reports that GM will rush out its $4.9b restructuring plan for Opel in December, as it seeks to ease worries on the continent about the fate of the troubled division. “Our plan is very similar to Magna’s. I don’t think it’s worse,” GM’s Nick Reilly told reporters near Opel’s largest plant in Zaragoza, Spain. Reily has said that as many as 10,000 jobs and 20 to 25 percent of Opel’s production capacity could be cut in the restructuring. Though Reilly refused to indicate where cuts could take place, he did say that GM would not transfer production from Zaragoza to Eisenach in eastern Germany, as Magna had planned to do. He also previously implied that British government loans could prevent or mitigate a planned 800-job cut at Opel’s Vauxhall operations in Britain.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A., questions about GM’s use of bailout funds to save overseas operations are starting to filter into the mainstream media. “We certainly need to be prudent about it, be very careful about it, but we do have the ability to run a global business,” says Fritz Henderson. After all, when asked specifically about the use of taxpayer money in an Opel bailout, Ron Bloom made it clear that the Obama Administration simply doesn’t care. “We are not going to meddle in GM’s decisions,” he said. “We are a shareholder but we are not an active shareholder.” Game on!

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12 Comments on “GM: US Taxpayer-Funded Opel Plans By Christmas...”

  • avatar

    The government should have let GM burn down years ago, because the death of something old, will bring the birth of something new to replace it.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      ” … the death of something old, will bring the birth of something new to replace it.”
      Contrary to the religious beliefs of Schumpeter’s disciples, destruction does not always automatically lead to an even better rebirth. Make no mistake, the doctrine of “creative destruction” is a belief held on faith more than it is a proven fact.

  • avatar

    I think it’s 10,000 not 50,000, that wouldn’t leave any opel employees at all.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Bailouts. The gift that keeps on giving.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    There is a rumour here in Canada that the Money both Ontario and Canada gave to GM to keep production in Canada, would now be heading for the EU operation of OPEL, somehow I don’t think that was the intention in the first place, only time and Lying GM will confirm this maybe eh?

  • avatar

    GM obviously claims it wants to not cut non-German jobs, and instead threatens to close German plants, to try put pressure on the German government…

  • avatar

    That’s the thing about money, bailout or otherwise. It’s completely fungible.

  • avatar

    What a great idea. Take US tax dollars and bail out foreign plants, preserving foreign jobs.
    I think I’m going to be sick.

    • 0 avatar
      Tricky Dicky

      You might want to lookup “The Marshall Plan” in Google.  Some commentators believe that it was the zenith of American geopolitics and represented a time when the US was genuinely admired in the world. What’s making you sick exactly?!
      Given the Bailout is behind us and unchangeable, doesn’t it make sense to try and recoup some of those lost tax payer dollars? I don’t think GM mgt gives a rats-ass about saving jobs in Europe. All they want is the ability to exploit engineering resources for global (compact-ish) platforms and the desire that one day they can take profits from European carbuyers, convert that cash into US dollars that will enable the paying back of bailout funds and presumably, US Corporation Tax.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Do you really think that giving away Opel would have led to more jobs being sustained in the US?

  • avatar

    If keeping Opel is the right thing to do as a business decision (I have no opinion on that), then it is appropriate that the US taxpayer as GM’s largest shareholder foots the bill.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Shock! Horror! The investor is letting the board make the tactical and strategic decisions!

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