By on April 8, 2013

GM CEO Dan Akerson and freshly minted Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann will receive a one hour audience with German Chancellor Angela Merkel this Thursday “to discuss the rejection of a plant closure timetable by workers which could speed the factory’s shutdown,” as Reuters reports.

Workers at Opel’s Bochum plant rejected a restructuring deal that would have kept the plant open through 2016 and which would have offered jobs to 1,200 of the more than 3,000 employees after car production ends in 2016. In exchange, wage increases would have been delayed.

Ever since GM and its DC sugar daddy reneged on plans to sell Opel to Magna and the Russians with a lot of help of the German government, GM is not very popular in Berlin. If Akerson and Neumann come begging for money, all they will receive is a cold shoulder.

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8 Comments on “Akerson And Neumann To Visit Merkel...”


  • avatar

    I am sure they both will have a very frosty reception, and that is to be expected, after all GM screwed up in the first place with dishing the Magna deal without even considering it!

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Akerson and Neuman come from a position of strength.

    Merkel may beg them to retain jobs, however.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Does that position of strength include the threat to file bankruptcy?

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      GM is already prepared to close the Bochum plant with the associated high costs to pay off workers.

      I doubt they will threaten an Opel bankruptcy filing, though they have transferred some important components of Opel to other GM organizations, possibly to enable such action.

      On the other hand it is reasonable to expect frank discussion about the potential for winding down more of GM’s activities in Germany to respond to business realities.

      GM doesn’t really need anything from Merkel, and surely haven’t forgotten her earlier response. No doubt they would appreciate support. She needs to protect German jobs. If I were Akerson, I would want to discuss a mutually beneficial arrangement.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        “GM doesn’t really need anything from Merkel, and surely haven’t forgotten her earlier response.”

        Well, Merkel surely won’t have forgotten GM’s lack of diplomacy, that’s for sure. Flying back from addressing the US Congress, she received a call from Henderson under Whitacre’s direction telling her GM had reneged on the deal to sell Opel. That deal her government had invested a great deal of time in helping to put together to aid GM in its immediate post-bankruptcy woes.

        All this was documented here on TTAC.

        Relations between GM and the German government have been frosty ever since. If ever there was a time for diplomacy, that was it. Like waiting till Merkel got home. However, the blundering GM management had no clue, as usual, despite being wards of the US state at the time.

        Merkel doesn’t give one fat pfennig about what GM thinks, and if she can give ‘em a boot in the ass, she will. You will note that GM recently appointed a European govermental relations VP a couple of weeks ago. Now that’s going to be a lively job for a couple more days until Dan Akerson starts laying down the law to Merkel. By all accounts, he is a master of tact, so no doubt he’ll charm the Chancellor.

        Dr Olds, you overestimate GM’s strengths, not for the first time. You hardly acknowledge the bankruptcy, and despite being shown to be incorrect many times on this forum, like a cork, you keep bobbing back to the surface, cleansed of any inconvenient truths and championing GM in any way you can. For what reason I cannot tell, but the constant boosterism is really Old(s), also dead and buried.

        • 0 avatar
          doctor olds

          To think Angela Merkel doesn’t care about 37,000 German jobs and responds in the emotional way you speak from displays incredible naivete. To cite TTAC as “documentation”, absurd.

          Business is brutal, Henderson is history. GM can move away from Opel. Where will the jobs go? I didn’t say or imply that Akerson was going to “lay down the law”, just that he will not be groveling. I am sure he want to make nice.

          As for the bankruptcy.Exactly how would you like to see it acknowledged?

  • avatar
    Junebug

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel – that picture of her looks like her Metamucil hadn’t kicked in yet.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Welcome back Bertel, it has been a while.


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