By on September 10, 2009

Participating in GM’s global technology development and purchasing organizations secures important economies of scale for Opel/Vauxhall and other GM brands. For example, vehicles that represent new propulsion technologies, such as the Ampera extended-range electric vehicle, can only be brought to market in a joint effort.

“GM operates many joint ventures around the world and has proven in the past that this business model delivers the right balance of independence, innovation and synergies,” said John Smith, GM Group Vice President Business Development. “All parties will work hard to close the deal as soon as possible,” he added.

GM straps on the rose-colored blinders and dangles the Volt in its presser on today’s agreement to sell Opel to Magna and Sberbank. Ironic counterpoint after the jump.

“We are really good at buying brands, sucking them dry, and letting them fall,” a GM executive told me years ago with disarming openness.

—Automobilewoche Editor, Guido Reinking, in yesterday’s Automotive News [sub].

For yet another opinion, ask Fiat what GM partnerships are like. Meanwhile, the way negotiations have gone so far, Opel’s new masters probably won’t bend over backwards for their Volt rebadge.

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15 Comments on “Quote of the Day: Perception Gap This Edition...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Better yet, ask Toyota about their NUMMI experience.

    Bringing the Ampera/Volt/Converj trio to market will permit GM to blame someone else for their failure.

  • avatar
    rnc

    I kind of think this one may work out for GM better than flat out owning Opel would. Opel will need to amortize thier development/engineering cost over more than just the current sales that Opel has or that GAZ can provide. GM will get the benefit of having platform development cost shared and will not have to make the (re)investment in Opel necessary to return it to what was lost in the 90’s.

    In Germany 20% ownership gives you blocking rights (VW law), so in some ways its better than owning 80% of a money losing (yet very important) operation i.e., doesn’t get carried on GM’s balance sheet.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    GM? Advanced technology? Bwahahahahah.

    Confession, I’ve got a C-6 ‘Vette and it’s really a superb car. However, there’s still that old pushrod engine in there, coupled to GM’s questionable electronics. (So far, no fail-eee, but I’m waiting….)

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    Oh, and I’ll NEVER purchase another GM product again. Not even a ‘Vette. Nothing for Obamamoters. Ever.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Gee I do recall it was Bush’s 15 Billion $ loan that kept them out of insolvancy, just since we’re bringing politics into this (as usual)

  • avatar

    “Confession, I’ve got a C-6 ‘Vette and it’s really a superb car. However, there’s still that old pushrod engine in there, coupled to GM’s questionable electronics. (So far, no fail-eee, but I’m waiting….)”

    Do yourself a favor and sell it. Preferably to someone who appreciates it better than you do.

  • avatar
    pnnyj

    Why would Opel/Magna even want the Volt/Ampera? Magna has already developed their own electric powertrain. It was specifically designed to be adaptable to fit into any normal FWD platform.

    If they really wanted to I bet that Magna would be able to put an electric Opel Astra on sale before GM actually delivers a single Volt to a real customer.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    What’s the slogan for New Opel? Maybe “Helping GM design their next generation of mobile meth labs”? Seriously, why do we even care about these fools anymore? Might as well cover Studebaker…oh wait, we’ve got $100B in this game!

  • avatar
    charly

    @rnc: It is called the VW law because it is only VW that has that 20% rule.

    @pnnyj: The Volt is the car that any Dutch leasedrive wants to drive, for tax reasons obvious and because it drives better than a Prius.

    Magna’s solution is obviously jerry rigged. Volt will work much better plus has the added bonus of a range extenter

  • avatar
    KixStart

    charly writes, “@pnnyj: The Volt is the car that any Dutch leasedrive wants to drive, for tax reasons obvious and because it drives better than a Prius. Magna’s solution is obviously jerry rigged. Volt will work much better plus has the added bonus of a range extenter.”

    First, you’re making some completely unfounded assumptions, here, as the Volt is not available to test and better is entirely unproven until it actually hits the road.

    Second, many people are waiting for a useful electric car. If Magna can get them one sooner than GM can, then Magna gets sales. This is competition. It’s very useful for advancing the state of the art and weeding out the unfit.

    Third, never mind Magna, several companies will beat the Volt to market with what appear to be saleable EVs.

  • avatar
    rnc

    Its called the VW law because it was originally implemented to protect VW (and other large German firms) from hostile takeovers during reconstruction, not b/c it only applies to VW.

  • avatar
    charly

    I didn’t mean that Magna’s solution itself was jerry rigged but that using an electric motor in a design for ICE car is jerry rigged. I should have been more clear. For instance batteries have their idea place in the center of the car. Something that isn’t possible with a conversion kit like Magna’s solution. You also don’t need a exhaust or a gas tank.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    charly,

    It doesn’t matter if it’s ideal. It just has to be good enough and cheap enough.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    And soon enough.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    charly,

    And real enough.

    You can get EVs from a few different sources. But only the extreme EV-philic fringe is willing to buy one of those fiberglass-bodied limited production things (see recent “Curbside Crap” article on the… what? Xebra? I forget). People want some fairly reasonable alignment between actual transportation value and the price (it can cost extra… but not too much) and they want it to look like a real car and they want it represented by some manufacturer whom they actually trust to know how to build a real car (even if they don’t build great ones). A known quantity and well-known brand, like GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, delivering the car says that it’s a real car and not some fifth-grade science experiment.

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