Wednesday of Truth for Opel

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
wednesday of truth for opel
Wednesday, May 20th 2009. Final deadline for anybody who’s seriously interested in taking over Opel. Today, concrete and final plans and bids must be presented to GM and the German government in Berlin. Today, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Economy Minister Guttenberg, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück und Minister of Labor Olaf Scholz are meeting in Berlin to decide next steps, Automobilwoche [sub] writes. GM emissaries from Detroit are also standing by in Berlin to check the bids, Handelsblatt learned.A bridge loan, estimated at €2 billion, has already been arranged. Condition: There needs to be a viable partner, and GM needs to agree to the German trustee model, which hasn’t been met with a lot of applause in Detroit. But they are running out of time and money at RenCen. When GM goes bankrupt by the end of the month, and no Opel deal is closed, all bets are off. Only two bidders seem to stand a chance in Berlin:Fiat and Magna. Both companies are lobbying hard. Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne yesterday met Berthold Huber, head of the metal workers union IG Metall. Huber prefers Magna, and Marchionne tried to talk him out of it. While Sergio shmoozed the unions and Thuringia’s premier Dieter Althaus, Magna had a sit-down with Opel’s worker’s council to get even more support for their concept. It’s popular in Germany, because it doesn’t plan plant closures in Deutschland. According to Reuters, the Magna plan includes opening up under-used Opel plants to other automakers and allowing them to use Opel platforms to bring niche models to market quickly. Bloomberg identified the third bidder as RHJ International SA, a Brussels-based investment firm started by Ripplewood Holdings LLC founder Timothy Collins. The Germans prefer someone who knows more about cars than what can be learned from the backseat of a limo.This weekend, a German government delegation will travel to Washington DC to sell their trustee model. If there is no buy-on in DC, then Economy Minister Guttenberg has another option: “an orderly bankruptcy.” No trustee model, no loans from Germany, no loans from Germany, no interested investor. And Opel will keel over with the mother shipSpeaking in Berlin after the government meeting, Labour Minister Olaf Scholz said preliminary decisions on Opel must be made by the beginning of next week.“We don’t have much time. Decisions must be made this week, or at the latest by the start of next week,” Scholz told a news conference..
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  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on May 20, 2009

    Frank Stronach's lovely daughter Belinda is/was one of Bill Clinton's gal pals. Whether that helps or hurts daddy with US politics is above my pay grade.

  • VLAD VLAD on May 20, 2009

    I would wait a week for BK and then buy it from the trustee. Critical to get GM totally out of it for good. Forget Vauxhall. Then make my deal with the German gov.

  • Tassos ask me if I care.
  • ToolGuy • Nice vehicle, reasonable price, good writeup. I like your ALL CAPS. 🙂"my mid-trim EX tester is saddled with dummy buttons for a function that’s not there"• If you press the Dummy button, does a narcissist show up spouting grandiose comments? Lol.
  • MaintenanceCosts These are everywhere around here. I'm not sure the extra power over a CR-V hybrid is worth the fragile interior materials and the Kia dealership experience.
  • MaintenanceCosts It's such a shame about the unusable ergonomics. I kind of like the looks of this Camaro and by all accounts it's the best-driving of the current generation of ponycars. A manual 2SS would be a really fun toy if only I could see out of it enough to drive safely.
  • ToolGuy Gut feel: It won't sell all that well as a new vehicle, but will be wildly popular in the used market 12.5 years from now.(See FJ Cruiser)
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