By on February 4, 2013

Opel’s new CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann isn’t officially CEO yet, and he already is facing a rebellion of his troops. Opel dealers threaten to discontinue the brand if Opel won’t withdraw a new distribution system. The dealers say the system comes from where Neumann and Opel’s sales chief Matthias Seidl come from: From Volkswagen.

The new system cuts into dealer margins and is so complicated that “I have to hire a mathematician to understand it,“ an enraged Opel dealer told Automobilwoche [sub]. The dealers say the system is similar to those at Volkswagen and Skoda. Neumann was Volkswagen’s chief in China before  he decided to take the top job at Opel. Seidl came from Saab, but spent 20 years at Volkswagen . Some point the fingers at Girksy “who wants to increase Opel’s profits by decreasing dealer profits,” as a comment in Das Autohaus reads.

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9 Comments on “Opel’s Dealers Man The Barricades...”


  • avatar

    The dealers’ objections would carry more weight if Opel actually had profits. As it is, it’s just cluelessness.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      I don’t understand your comment. What exactly does the running of a car dealership have to do with Opel itself?

      GM gradually went broke for a decade and a half before bankruptcy. The majority of its dealers did just fine during that period. Some, most particularly Buickman, railed at the ridiculous marketing campaigns (red tag toe sales, and $500 off if you had two left feet and were a vet, etc. etc). That’s an irritant obviously, but why call the reaction to it “cluelessness”?

      So, what’s clueless about a dealer complaining about a lower margin? Don’t you complain when the boss cuts your base salary and implements a bizarre bonus scheme to “compensate”?

      Or are you supposed to take the altruistic high road and help out the boss just because?

      Nope don’t understand your comment at all.

  • avatar
    scrappy17

    Bertel, It would be a great article if you can explain Volkswagen’s distribution system, which the Opel dealers are opposing.

    • 0 avatar
      Bobby Peru

      That wouldn’t provide any value to you – the margin/bonussystem is so difficult, that even VW-dealers have big problems to understand it. They – and that’s their real problem – can’t make a reasonable price-calculation for the cars they sell, because they are not able to take a raw guess about their overall-margin at the time they make the offer to the customer. This is a big risk for their business.

  • avatar
    stevejac

    Maybe he doesn’t want to hire a mathematician to explain it :)

  • avatar

    Girsky, the man who was advising during the loss of Pontiac, Hummer, Saab, and Saturn while billions were wasted on Fiat, Delphi was bankrupted for practice, and tens of other billions were spun and sold. and this is the guy sent to “fix” Europe. c’mon really?

    Spidey got the Green Goblin and Superman got Lex, and I have to deal with this bankster? geesh!

  • avatar
    sitting@home

    “Opel dealers threaten to discontinue the brand if Opel won’t withdraw a new distribution system.”

    What would the dealers sell then ?

  • avatar
    Speed3

    GM should seriously cut its losses on Opel. Dump it and focus on Daewoos, er Chevrolets in Europe. I hear budget brands are all the rage these days there.

  • avatar
    Bobby Peru

    Don’t push this, Bertel – Automobilwoche is overdoing the issue – what goes on there at the moment are quite normal negotiations in progress between Opel and the dealers alliance about the sales program 2013. Results expected today or tomorrow. You’ll be informed.


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