Fiat Wants Opel
Fiat wants to get its hands on Opel, and the Opel workers don’t like it at all. Opel workers council chief Klaus Franz confirmed today that Fiat is in intensive negotiations to take over Opel. A memorandum of understanding may be signed as early as this coming Tuesday, reports Automobilwoche [sub]. Franz is very much against it:
According to Franz, Fiat doesn’t want to build a big car empire. All they want are the credit guarantees that are offered by the German government as a dowry if Opel finds a suitable partner “Fiat has a debt load of €14.2 billion and really bad liquidity problems. There is no other way fort them to raise funds,” Franz said.
A spokesperson of GM Europe didn’t want to comment the comments of their über-shop steward. The spokesperson gave the tired party line of GM being in contact with a number of interested, but unnamed investors.
Franz is worried that Fiat will “show their true colors” after the fall elections and will initiate massive job cuts. Between Opel and Fiat “is brutal overlap in all segments” said Franz, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Opel supervisory board—he should and must know.
Fiat did not comment. According to Klaus Koch, premier of Opel’s home state Hesse, “there is no decision yet—Magna and Fiat are only some of the parties interested in Opel.” Politicians. Can’t keep their mouths shut.
In related news, all signs are on red in Milan. In Q1 09, Fiat’s sales dropped from €15 billion last year to €11 billion this year. After reporting a net gain of €405 million in Q1 08, the first quarter of 09 has a loss of €410 million on Fiat’s books.