German Government: No Bailout For Opel, Management To Blame

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
german government no bailout for opel management to blame

A day after GM’s announcement to close down most of its Bochum plant, Germany’s vice chancellor and economy Minister Philipp Rösler blamed GM’s management for Opel’s misery. German carmakers like Volkswagen, BMW or Daimler are relatively unaffected by the European contagion, because they are successful in export markets. “It has been a mistake that Opel was more or less kept out of the growth market China,” Rösler told the Rheinische Post. “There will be no financial help, because it won’t solve the management problems.”

Interim CEO Thomas Sedran was surrounded by a phalanx of security guards when he made his very short announcement yesterday. Outside, an armada of police was ready to intervene. The workers were peaceful, the security guards were not. A shop steward was knocked to the floor and choked by security guards, works council chief Rainer Einenkel told Der Spiegel. The union considered going on strike, but decided against it because there will be “short work” anyway in January.

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  • V8 V8 on Dec 11, 2012

    Who killed Opel? I think it was Rick Wagoner in the Board Room with a lead pipe.

    • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jan 18, 2013

      And monkey's brains, while popular in Cantonese cuisine, are not often found in Detroit, Michigan!

  • JD-Shifty JD-Shifty on Dec 11, 2012

    I hope they offer all the engineering staff a job in Detroit or elsewhere in GM. let Germany suffer the brain drain.

  • Doctor olds Doctor olds on Dec 11, 2012

    Opel/Vauxhall is just one (conjoined twins?) of GM's brands, a regional product from an integrated Global company. GM is doing well enough, in terms of sales, to be #1 in the two largest markets in the world, and #1 or #2 in all of their regions besides Europe, where GM earns only 4th place. GM has carried Opel, but continual declines in the regions total sales mean capacity must be reduced. Opel is 3rd in Germany after VW and MB Vauxhall is 2nd in England, afer Ford Opel's 1.2 million volume in Europe is similar in scale to Honda's US sales. They just have problems reducing workers and plants in line with sales volumes to restore profitability. I wonder if VW factories in Deutchland, isolated from the rest of VW, are all that much more profitable than Opel's. They don't break out that figure, to the best of my knowledge. GM overall made a lot of money, too. Closing Bochum is a move in the right direction. Is it any wonder a politician would decry the company that is taking German jobs? The truth is, GM needs political change to reduce labor unions' stranglehold on industry in Germany.

    • See 2 previous
    • Mike978 Mike978 on Dec 12, 2012

      @CJinSD I agree with CJ that they need to match production to demand. Which this move indicates they are going to do.

  • Robert Gordon Robert Gordon on Dec 12, 2012

    As an aside, why has TTAC completely ignored the death of Dr Alex Moulton?