By on September 17, 2012

For months, Frank Stronach’s Magna was about to take over GM’s Opel, until GM suddenly canceled the deal, a decision GM probably regrets several times a day. Used to reach for the stars, Frank Stronach reaches higher. Instead of ruling Opel, he now wants to rule a country.

Frank Stronach, billionaire owner of Magna, is running for chancellor of Austria. Not a big country, but it’s a start. His party is so new that it does not have a name yet, but he thinks that the party could get between 20 and 30 percent of the vote. Opinion polls show him close to 10 percent, says Reuters.

Stronach is trying to exploit growing bailout fatigue and could turn the election into a de facto vote on Austria’s future in Europe. He basically wants Austria go back to its old currency, the schilling.

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8 Comments on “The Man Who Wanted To Buy Opel Now Wants To Rule Austria...”

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    His daughter is an ex-Member of Parliament here in Canada. Does Mr. Stronach have dual-citizenship? How does Austria view the issue of dual nationalities?

  • avatar

    Ahhh the Belinda Stronach years. She was a Conservative Party member (and former leadership candidate) who eventually crossed the floor to the Liberals, saving their government from defeat (on a budget bill which would have triggered an election) and jilting her then-lover (Conservative MP Peter Mackay) in the process. Who says Canadian politics isn’t exciting??

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    Austria could prove a better investment than Opel.

  • avatar

    I’ll call this one a ‘reverse Hitler’….

  • avatar

    He’s getting up there in years. He won’t hold it for long. I wonder what his angle is? Does he think that keeping the Euro will hurt auto manufacturing in Europe? The PIIGS will truly drag the whole edifice down and he needs to get in there and salvage what he can before it all goes away?

    I don’t know how much exposure he has in Europe but it is substantial. He assembles whole vehicles for MB and I think Porsche. Adding up all of his activities he might be a bigger manufacturer than PSA.

  • avatar

    Frank has a history and doing what is primarily good for frank.

    Anybody whos been around the industry long enough will remember much of the interesting history following frank, belinda and don as well as the rags to riches to rags to riches history of magna.

    • 0 avatar

      At his age, this may be more for sport and his own personal amusement than anything else.

      The idea of breaking up the Red-Black coalition in Austria carries a certain populist appeal. (That neo-Nazi Haider got some mileage out of that for awhile.) I suppose that Stronach may be the first guy who can bankroll such an effort with some real money behind him, which makes things interesting.

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