New Opel: Not Yet

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Today’s the day GM, Magna, Sperbank, the Unions, the Opel Trust, and a whole host of others are supposed to finally, at long last, definitely sign the contracts that seal Opel’s new fate and future under the Magna/Sperbank regime. At the time of this typing, it looks like the signatures will remain blank. Who’s holding up the flow of ink?

The unions. According to Das Autohaus, there are “a number of open items” between the Opel workers’ council and Magna, “which cannot be solved immediately.” The workers are scheduled to own 10 percent of “New Opel.” Magna and Sperbank will hold 27.5 percent each. GM retains 35 percent. The price of the shares for the workers: No holiday pay, no Christmas bonus until 2014, to the tune of €256m a year. Being shareholders, the unions want to have a say when factories are being closed or work is being shifted in their company. Financial Times reported, the Unions want an additional seat on the Supervisory Board. According to German rules, the unions already have half of the seats, an additional seat would let them rule at will. Opel Union boss Franz said, this report is not true. Whatever.

The workers in Spain have not agreed yet to contribute their bonuses. They want to think about it until next Monday, maybe. The Opel plant in Antwerp, Belgium will be most likely shuttered – unless Belgium pays to play. The Spanish government will contribute to the €4.5b kitty, which keeps the lights on at Opel Saragossa. There is a deal in the UK which keeps Luton and Ellesmere Port open.

Even if the papers will be signed, eventually, maybe, possibly, the deal is not closed at all. The European Commission in Brussels needs to approve the €4.5b in government money. Stay tuned.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Oct 15, 2009

    It's spelled "Opel Saragossa" in German :)

  • Tricky Dicky Tricky Dicky on Oct 16, 2009

    Original plan to layoff 1,400 British workers has been reduced by 600. So that leaves just 800 voluntary redundancies to be had. The alt. spelling of the bank name comes from the differences between Cyrillic (Russian) character set, and the Latin (English) character set. Neither are wrong. Unlike the Opel deal. Or thinking that it was the kind of bank that had something to do with fertility treatment :-o

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.