Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: BMW Buying Opel

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
wild ass rumor of the day bmw buying opel

You gotta love an autoblogger who writes “After all, the recent cancellation of the luxurious 4-seat coupe previewed by the concept CS shows that the current BMW management are acting, how should I say it… like a bunch of pussies.” [I don’t agree but I appreciate the, uh, Ehrbarkeit.] Anyway, our new BFF at auto-future has read the most recent paper version of Autobild (out today). The pub predicts that BMW’s about to go on a buying binge. “The strategy previewed includes BMW forming an holding in order to acquire positions in other companies, including a percentage of Daimler that allows a position in the board, and possible a Opel buy either alone or with Daimler and German government colaboration.” We’ll get ask our man Bertel Schmitt to pick-up a copy at the train station and provide a more complete translation. But given GM’s DC begging bowl debacle (part two today rock the House), it’s increasingly clear that it’s only a matter of time before someone grabs GM’s Euro-brand. Or at least the best bits.

Update: In the meantime, Bertel Schmitt picked up a copy of Auto-BILD at the train station. He called in and said “They are talking menace a trois!” Between BMW, Mercedes and Opel. He said, it’s just a scenario, written up by the magazine. We’ll hear more when he has found an Internet Cafe in Berlin.

Bertel from the Internet café: “Not much to report and translate, boys & girls: Wild assed rumor it is not. It’s pure, unsourced speculation by Auto-BILD (after all, they are the car offshoot of BILD-Zeitung, famous for its “Man Bites Dog” style.) They think, it would be a swell idea if BMW and Daimler would join forces (if someone finds a way to sedate their engineers, they will.) Then, with some government money, they could take Opel off the hands of GM. And ACHTUNG: A pure, true and true Germanic car company. Nice idea. Next idea, please! However, the “report” reflects what we’ve said for a while: Nobody in Germany doubts that Opel will leave GM. Everybody just speculates about the how and when.”

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  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Dec 06, 2008

    It might make sense for BMW to pick up SAAB. The idea would be revive the SAAB 93 as a rally car a bit larger than the MINI, but still a compact.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Dec 06, 2008

    I agree with Katie & Martin: - BMW needs Opel like a hole in the head. In Germany, the 3-series is regarded a volume model. With the Mini, they are well-placed in the cars-for-dwarfs segment. - The only use Daimler would have for Opel is as a poison pill. But there are other suitors waiting to ward off raiders. The Stae of Baden Wuerttemberg is ready. Daimler's current problem is that they can't make enough A and B models. The biggest culture problem is between Daimler and BMW. Goes from management to customers. A BMW buyer doesn't buy a Mercedes. A former VW buyer is more likely to step up to a Mercedes than to a BMW. Engineers and managers (except all the way at the top) regard each other with contempt. Culture-wise, either could pick up Opel. After having been ruled from the USA, and later from a SWISS headquarters filled with Detroit lackeys, there isn't much backbone left at Opel. If the choice would be Zurich, Stuttgart or Munich, Opel would definitely not take Zurich, and be happy with either Stuttgart or Munich.

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