Today's News, Ambien Edition: Volvo and Opel

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The car business and the news surrounding it have their seasonality (hence the SAAR.) As far as the news is concerned, we must have reached the “soak” part of the news cycle. It can only spin faster, or we should all take a vacation. Read on if you suffer from insomnia …

Reuters, whose news we usually treasure, today reports from China that government-owned banks are backing Geely’s bid for Volvo. Didn’t we say that ten days ago? Even then it wasn’t a secret. But for the record, Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and the Export-Import Bank of China reportedly have agreed to give 5 year loans to Geely so that Geely can snap up Volvo. Some “private” equity funds (backed by the Chinese government) are also ready to pitch in. Anyway, the Volvo deal appears to be on the right track. (Or wrong track, depending on your ideological leanings.)

Further in the old hat department, Reuters reports that GM “has regained full control over Opel after paying back a 1.5 billion euro emergency loan including interest, dissolving a trust that held a 65 percent stake in the European carmaker.” Technically, this is correct. This is December 1, the shares were returned today. The bridge loan by the German government was due for repayment by end of November. It was secured by the shares in Opel, which were held in trust. With the money paid back, the collateral was returned, and the trust has been dissolved. TTAC readers received the heads-up on that a week ago.

Now where to vacation? Bali? Thailand? Anything with a halfway decent internet connection will do.

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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