Opel Labor Boss: Set Us Up With SAIC

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Reuters reports:

Opel, part of GM Europe, has long sought to free itself of the constraints imposed by GM, which aims to keep it as a regional brand.

“One proposal would be to give Opel shares to SAIC,” [Opel union boss] Klaus Franz told Reuters, adding this move would allow GM to receive in return t he 1 percent in the SAIC joint venture it is missing for a 50 percent stake.

“GM has never accepted that it owns 49 percent in the joint venture with SAIC and that the Chinese partners have 51 percent,” Franz said.

The joint venture builds Chevy, Buick and Cadillac vehicles in China.

“It would be a win-win situation for all and it would be a good way for us to enter the Chinese market,” Franz said.

Franz has long been a provocateur, but this one probably takes the cake. After all, SAIC and Opel together would almost be a better GM than GM… product development and booming China/India sales with none of the North American legacy costs. Don’t count on this happening, but it is an interesting sign of Opel’s renewed desire for independence from Mother GM.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Wmba Wmba on Sep 21, 2011

    Way back in the late 1950s, Ford imported their 6 cylinder Zephyr and 4 cylinder Consul from the UK to North America. Compared to the Falcon, the Zephyr was a real car that didn't rust away in 5 minutes. To prevent the Zephyr from selling too well and stealing Falcon sales, Ford simply stopped importing them. Easy for Ford to do, because they owned Ford UK. So Opel will just have to grin and bear it, because they are outright-owned by GM, and GM wants them to service the European market, period. No amount of hand-wringing or better products is going to change that. Opel is a branch plant. That's the way GM wants it, and they own it. So these Opel people might as well urinate out of a convenient window for all the good it'll do them changing the corporate mind. They might as well hunker down and get on with the job they are assigned to do. A non-story.

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Sep 21, 2011

    GM NAAO "legacy costs"? I thought this was what the Ch.11 was supposed to wash away...

  • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Sep 21, 2011

    Oh my gosh! That guy on the left in the picture? It's Michael Moore, sans 100 pounds and the baseball cap, with ten years added and a suit. I know. Never gonna happen.

  • Beerboy12 Beerboy12 on Sep 21, 2011

    You can't blame Opel for wanting to be rid of GM and allowing that would be just plain stupid of GM. 2 brands that GM should show more respect for, Opel and Holden.