GM Won't "Cut and Run" From Opel: Akerson

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
gm won t cut and run from opel akerson

GM CEO Dan Akerson re-affirmed his committment to Opel while speaking at company headquarters in Ruesselsheim, Germany.

A copy of the speech obtained by Reuters has Akerson re-assuring workers that GM is in it for the long haul with respect to Opel.

“As a global auto company, GM needs a strong design, engineering, manufacturing and sales presence in Europe. There’s room for Chevrolet in Europe but Opel fulfills that role…Recommendations that we ‘cut and run’ show you that some people simply do not see how important Opel is to our success.”

There has been significant pressure from analysts to divest from Opel, but Akerson’s speech appears to be a strong signal that GM will hang on to Opel until the bitter end.

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  • Mjz Mjz on Nov 15, 2012

    GM should just give it to Fiat and let Segio worry about it. Worked with Chrysler.

    • Mike978 Mike978 on Nov 15, 2012

      It worked because FIAT had no US presence and Chrysler gave them that. Opel is totally different since FIAT is also heavily European based. Great overlap.

  • Rnc Rnc on Nov 16, 2012

    Not only would it be the equiv. of giving free marketshare to VW and Ford, but the costs related to Buick would still have to be amortized and without having opel to dump them on (I bet the expenses for developing the platforms, engines, tooling, etc., all stay on Opel's books while all of the profit from Buick in US and China stay in US and China w/o allocating back, makes since for tax purposes, also makes Opel's situation look worse than it is). This would make Buick cost more in both Markets (don't know about significance to US), but China is huge and buick's market segment is highly competitive. When Opel released their last equiv. to the Mondeo it was built to be 80% of what the mondeo was, that is a strategy that would kill any company (this was also pre-BK), My four yearly trips to the fatherland over a period of four years, The Headquarters and largest production facility (roughly 500 mil. euro/yr revenues, so I had a nice size parking lot to review), yes VW was #1 by a huge margin, Ford was a clear #2 and it seems that each year there were more Fords and less Opels (the executive fleet was all Audis, BMW's and Mercedes ofcourse)

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 16, 2012

    "GM will hang on to Opel until the bitter end" And that's what it will be.

  • Alluster Alluster on Nov 16, 2012

    GM should threaten Opel unions into submission if they decide to play hardball. Use the Hostess shutdown as an example to let unions know their fate will be the same if they decline any wage concessions or layoffs. The unions have killed an iconic American snack brand. If a company that sells fat and sugar to Americans can't survive the union, how can Opel? USPS posted a record $16B loss for the year and is at the risk of going bankrupt soon. Good job, unions! You've just about killed every company you lay your claws on.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Nov 16, 2012

      I'm a huge fan of Hostess and I remain confident that Hostess will actually come back, better and stronger and even more popular than before. The (foreign) owners of Pabst have expressed a desire to take over Hostess and resume operations with different employees. (Read that as current and former employees need not apply.) I think the Bakers Union badly overplayed their hand here. Ahh, but then so did the UAW with Chrysler and GM, pre-bailout. Except with Hostess, there will be no taxpayer funded bailout and the unions are busted. My point is that Opel's union should tread carefully, even though GM is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury. GM in the US will never go under, but GM's foreign affiliates may get crunched if push comes to shove and it becomes a choice of keeping the UAW working or the foreigners.