German Government to Obama: Sell Opel to Magna

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

You don’t have to be a poli sci major to figure-out that the German government wants the Obama administration to strong-arm GM into sell its ailing Opel division to a consortium of Canadians and Russians (Magna, Sberbank and GAZ). The fact that the Germans are talking to the Americans about the deal is proof enough that high-level pressure is the order of the day. In other words, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck doth protest too little. “Speaking at a press conference following the meeting of finance ministers and central bank heads from the Group of 20 largest economies, [Steinbrueck] said his impression is that the U.S. government will leave the decision about Opel with the General Motor’s board of directors,” CNNMoney reports. “And won’t exercise ‘massive influence.'” Just enough influence, then?

“I have told him what the (German federal) government’s position is, that we are very much interested that the current vacuum will finally be filled,” he said. “The government still favors the industrial policy concept of Magna and therefore this partner.”

He added that Germany’s willingness to provide aid “is clearly linked to this partner.”


Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Akear Akear on Sep 07, 2009

    If GM cannot engineer and design a vehicle in North America maybe they should be out of the business of producing cars. This inability to engineer cars in NA is why Wagoner and Lutz have a worse legacy then Roger Smith. Even the Chinese are trying to at least engineer and design their own cars. Wagoner is the best thing to happen to Smith's legacy. Can you imagine Boeing engineering and designing all their aircraft abroad. Bye, bye GM enjoy your 17% marketshare next year. >> “How will GM cope without Opel?”. Why that question was asked so late in the day, after all the Ch.11 Corporate Re-engineering was completed, is a genuine mystery to me.">> This is because GM has such severe ADD that they cannot look at the future or the past. They just live in the present and don't see any implications beyond that .

  • Charly Charly on Sep 07, 2009
    Can you imagine Boeing engineering and designing all their aircraft abroad.? Actually yes. Mitsubitshi in Japan makes the wings of the 787 what is the core engineering of an airplan.
  • Rnc Rnc on Sep 08, 2009
    Can you imagine Boeing engineering and designing all their aircraft abroad.? Actually yes the new CEO is moving to outsource even more of the design/engineering and actual building of the planes to China and India so that all Boeing in reality becomes is the final assembler, the engineers are terrified of this as the experience with the 787 has been rough, but on the corporate/global side, the CEO is terrified of what China may become in the next 20 years in commercial aerospace.
  • Charly Charly on Sep 08, 2009

    And final assembly isn't the hard part of aircraft engineering so you just know what will happen when the replacement of the 787 is designed. It will be assembled somewhere else.