Opel's Tech Center Fire-Proof
GM (probably with a little prodding from their buddies and new Chinese overlords at SAIC) realizes where the real value at Opel is: At the Opel Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim.
After yesterday’s press conference in which he had announced the ties with a stronger SAIC in China and India, Reilly spoke to 9,000 employees at Opel’s Rüsselsheim headquarters, Reuters reports.
The good news: 548 engineering jobs at the engineering center, formerly slated to be eliminated, will stay. The bad news?
There is no bad news. Reilly has to make nice with the unions. He needs labor support to contribute 265 million euros ($399.4 million) in annual savings and he needs their help to convince European governments to shell out state aid.
To woo workers over, Reilly said that employee shareholding, along with profit sharing and the division’s conversion into a German joint-stock company “can be part of the final settlement,” says Business Week.
Then Reilly went on to Brussels to meet European Union ministers, hat in hand. The hat remained empty. According to the Wall Street Journal, “the ministers seemed reluctant to provide GM some of the EUR3.3 billion it says it needs to revive Opel.”
Most outspoken opponent against aid is German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle. He said that the best solution would be to save taxpayers’ money. Earlier Friday, he told journalists that “GM is in a position to solve its own issues,” and that he isn’t sure GM needs European government money for Opel. Maybe Brüderle is also under the – surely misguided – impression that China might bail out Opel.