Akerson, Girsky Stand By Bleeding German Patient

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

GM CEO Dan Akerson and his dispatched-to-Europe fixer Steve Girsky emphatically denied that its loss-making Opel arm is up for sale or might be merged into a joint venture with equally loss-making Peugeot.

“As a global automotive company, GM needs a strong presence in Europe – both in design and development as in manufacturing and sales,” Akerson told Reuters in Rüsselsheim. “Opel is key to our success and enjoys the full support of its parent company.”

Opel Chairman Steve Girsky told Reuters that speculation of a disposal was unfounded.

GM announced it will invest 4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in Opel by the end of 2016 to support new model launches. Opel is set for a 14th straight annual loss while European car sales plunge to their lowest in almost two decades.

GM had an operating loss of $1.8 billion last year in Europe.

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="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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6 of 10 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 11, 2013

    So this is where the saying 'throwing good money after bad' comes from?

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Apr 11, 2013

    So 4 billion Euros is the price of shutting down the German plants? That would make Opel a Polish/Slovakian company, wouldn't it?

  • CV Neuves CV Neuves on Apr 12, 2013

    Opel seems to have at least in terms of technology development significance for GM. Opel exports are also most likely be the GM mainstay in Australia after the closure of Holden there by the end of the decade.

    • See 1 previous
    • CV Neuves CV Neuves on Apr 12, 2013

      @Lorenzo You are probably right there. GM is already significantly investing in the Opel infrastructure in Australia and are scaling Oz GMH, General Holden Motors, down. The value lies in the technology and the brand. If the actual Opels eventually end up coming from somewhere in Transsylvanya or Turkey matters not really.

  • Pacificpom2 Pacificpom2 on Apr 12, 2013

    So Akerson lies to governments around the world. In Australia, in Germany and anywhere else they pressured governments to hand over cash for jobs with no intention of keeping their (GM's) promises.