By on December 22, 2009

Klaus and Eddy, sitting in a tree...

Whitacre is a completely different type of manager than what you saw at GM in the past. It’s refreshing to talk to someone that gained his experience outside of the company. He truly wants our cooperation, he doesn’t want any confrontation at all. Just the opposite, he says that only together can we make GM, Opel and Vauxhall successful.

Opel union boss Klaus Franz expresses sudden enthusiasm for working with GM’s new leadership. And that’s a hell of a turnaround from his previous opinions on GM management, including (but not limited to) his assesment that “GM does not enjoy any credibility or faith in the eyes of the public or the (German) government.”

Too bad Franz’s job description involves preventing GM from tackling Europe’s epic overcapacity head-on, although he did agree to $394 million in annual wage concessions. And his endorsement of Whitacre as a new breed at GM is a rare encouraging sign coming out of the Opel negotiations, which had been defined by anger, suspicion, and loathing. Now about that $5 billion in restructuring costs…

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