GM Agrees To Cut Opel Loose – Kinda

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm agrees to cut opel loose kinda

Today, management of Opel presented a rescue plan to the Supervisory Board of the Opel GmbH. The bottom line of the plan: A decoupling from GM. According to Automobilwoche [sub,] the plan and the decoupling has been approved by the Supervisory Board. The head of the Supervisory Board is Carl-Peter Forster, who’s main job description is Head of General Motors Europe. It looks like GM will let Opel go. Well, not quite yet.

For the time being, Opel will be an independent company, but will still remain a part of GM. “We all believe that in Europe it is important for a company the size of Opel to be part of a large corporate group, to enjoy economies of scale and access to intellectual property,” Foster said. The decoupled-but-still-in-the family Opel is open for other investors, Foster said. Anywhere between 25 and 50 percent would be possible.

As far as immediate cash needs go, Opel needs €3.3b as government loan guarantees. Furthermore, the plan assumes another €3b from GM in Detroit (good luck with that) and savings of €1b. The approved rescue plan will be presented to the German government on Monday. Berlin had made any monies to Opel dependent on such a plan, and a plan that prevents that the government Euros will somehow turn into Detroit Dollars.

This is the first step to the German governments (central and states) taking a controlling share of Opel, and to Opel being broken out of GM. It sounds like GM put a €3b price tag on the patents and designs necessary for a totally independent Opel.

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4 of 23 comments
  • VLAD VLAD on Feb 27, 2009

    Maybe if GM pays the 1b Euro it owes and participates as a minority share holder. As long as they have majority they will just steal German taxpayer money. It's a trick.

  • Mhl5X Mhl5X on Feb 27, 2009

    This is the perfect opportunity for Opel and Saturn to team up so that all of the cool Opel cars could be sold in the US. Just think if we could get the new Insignia - now that would spoil the Chevy Malibu's party. I wonder how well the Corsa would do?

  • John Horner John Horner on Feb 28, 2009

    I suspect that GM is used to being the 800 lb. gorilla which can push everyone else around and mostly get its way. The problem for them is, now they are dealing with governments who have platoons of 800 lb. gorillas. Perhaps the German government would like to start a criminal probe using racketeering charges against GM Corporate for any unwarranted transfers of intellectual property rights away from Opel. How many GM executives would have to face the possibility of jail before they would suddenly change their tune and tone?

  • Brush Brush on Feb 28, 2009

    I understand that GM owns Opel and Holden, what else do they own outside of the US? Daewoo is owned by Holden is owned by GM, SAAB was/is owned by GM. Who else is out there?