GM/Opel: German Government Money? Us? What For? On Second Thought …
The Opel/GM saga has more twists than New York’s Peppermint Lounge. Yesterday, we reported that GM’s Smith & Reilly went to Berlin to beg money from German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle. They received the cold shoulder.
Like good salesmen, they didn’t take no for an answer.
Yesterday, a spokesperson of GM said ( apparently, in German…): “Our company is working under the assumption that the support that was promised by the governments for the plan worked out with Magna basically is also negotiable under the new circumstances, because the GM plan follows a similar approach.”
Then in the evening, Bruederle said on national TV that GM wants to restructure Opel all on their own, without government money, and that would be “very good news” to the Minister. He even asked for confirmation from GM, and received it. For him, the explosive Opel topic would be “defused” now. He apparently is glad the hand grenade has been removed from his lap. Until GM does the Twist again.
Update: And they sure did. Reuters just put on the wire that “General Motors reiterated on Friday it wanted state aid to help restructure European arm Opel after Germany’s economics minister said the carmaker would not ask European taxpayers for help.”
Opel labor leader Klaus Franz said today: “”It’s chaos-days at GM. It’s worse than the Bermuda Triangle. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board doesn’t know what the CEO is doing.”
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="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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