German Opel Dealers Like Opel So Much, They Want To Buy It

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
german opel dealers like opel so much they want to buy it

Important visitors today in Angela Merkel’s chancellery in Berlin: A delegation of German Opel dealers. They present a plan for a truly German future of Opel. The title of the plan: “We believe in the future of the Opel brand.” What the dealers and the German government don’t quite believe in is the future of the US bail-out package. Everybody is preparing for the worst, the defeat of the General, and (in their eyes) the best: Opel, German again.

The delegation is led by representatives of several well-heeled dealer groups. As early as November, plans had surfaced that a consortium of dealers is ready to take over Opel if the previously unsinkable should go down. The Opel works council has openly supported the plan. Opel management is giving tacit approval, without sticking their necks too far out. Recriminations from Zurich or Detroit can be swift. There is an update:

They finished their presentation. The parties agreed on absolute confidentiality, so mum’s the word. There will be further consultations, soon, after all in the meeting have completed their homework. The plan is to launch a new European company in case of “insolvency or liquidation of GM.” The idea is not a German solution, but a European one. They are not thinking about “re-nationalizing Opel.” The plans are European, and involve other brands also. “Everything we are thinking and doing is European,” said Kurt Kröger, Managing Director of Opel dealer Dello to Autohaus.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Dec 16, 2008
    Funny, I must have been hallucinating that Astra I saw yesterday. He said "not sold in NA". He's right. Astras don't sell in North America.

  • Gogogodzilla Gogogodzilla on Dec 16, 2008

    Saturn is selling the Astra in America... and losing money on each sale. But aside from that, is anyone wondering why America's GM dealerships aren't trying to buy GM... like the German Opel dealers are trying to do with Opel? It looks like GM dealerships have no faith in their product.

  • Tom Tom on Dec 17, 2008

    @ gogogodzilla: The reason why the dealers wouldn't buy GM is because GM is dead. Seriously, their total equity was at $-60 billion at the end of the third quarter 2008. So if they'd buy anything, it's individual brands. But to buy the mothership would be suicide.

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Dec 17, 2008

    @psarhjinian : What does Opel loose? The Antara, billions of dollars in liability, some excess Astras that they can’t sell and two European competitors. Don't forget the Agila (Suzuki Splash clone, brought in through the GM-Suzuki partnership) and the Opel GT (Saturn Sky) - both could be replaced easily: Opel already has a Renault/Nissan connection for commercial vehicles, so they could get a competent RWD platform for a homegrown GT there. Opel's own RWD platform competence has been exported to Australia though - the Holdens are built on an evolution of the old Omega platform.