If you go back for what seems to be years, TTAC never gave Opel big odds for getting state aid. Ever since GM reneged on the Magna deal, their chances were pretty much nil. Since then, the German government had been subjecting Opel to water torture. A few days ago, Berlin made it obvious. They had to, because GM was like a psychiatric patient that was slowly going through all stages of the Kübler-Ross model: Denial (“They said they would help us”), anger (“Maybe this will make your chancellor happy”), bargaining, depression, now finally, acceptance. Today, GM and Opel officially threw in the towel. Opel officially gave up on state aid. They will turn to the entity that supposedly wasn’t allowed to help them: The GM mother-ship. In other words: You and me will pay to save Opel.
We knew it would be one of Angela’s feel good meetings. Careful parsing of her statement yesterday gave the clues: “I will do everything so that the employees who were pushing for the preservation of Opel receive all possible help and support we have at our disposal.” Angela hadn’t promised help for Opel. She promised to do what she can to cushion the blow to the Opel workers. Anyway, Frau Merkel met with the Premiers of the Opel states, only to tell them that the decision stands: (Read More…)
Yesterday, as predicted by TTAC on many occasions, Germany’s Economics Minister Rainer Brüderle denied state aid for Opel. Even before the announcement, his boss Angela Merkel called a pow-wow of the premiers of the Opel states to find out what can and should be done now. The pow-wow will take place today. Yesterday’s statements by Brüderle and his boss are quite telling. Here they are, unedited (German version courtesy of Automobilwoche [sub], translation by yours truly.) (Read More…)
On Wednesday, June 9 2010, the German government will decide whether they’ll grant Opel live support. Or whether Berlin gives Opel a pat on the head and best wishes for their future endeavors. That’s the current plan, says Die Zeit, based on reports by the German wire service DPA. Plans can change, as they did in the past.
The German magazine Der Spiegel got its hands on an internal document. In the paper, the German economy ministry gives an awful assessment of the business plan that Nick Reilly had circulated amongst interested parties. Interested parties being the countries where Opel has plants and where GM wants to collect €2.7b in government aid. The Spiegel’s article will appear in the printed issue on Monday. But there are some damning pre-releases.
Minister Rainer Brüderle has serious doubts about Opel’s restructuring plan. “The viability is questionable,” the internal memo says. The planned job cuts are “hard to understand.”
And once more, Germany’s all-time phobia when it comes to Opel aid emerges: (Read More…)