By on May 30, 2017

Opel Insignia, Image: Opel

The handover of General Motors’ European operations and creation of a new Opel corporate identity, which was expected later this week, has come to a screeching halt.

As part of the $2.3 billion sale to France’s PSA Group, GM’s longtime German subsidiary will take on the name Opel Automobile GmbH — but not until the two companies clear a big hurdle. It seems the problem comes down to a tale of two development centers: one owned by GM, the other by PSA.

Opel’s Rüsselsheim, Germany development center, which brought American buyers past (and future) Buick Regals, is just one of the assets being handed over to PSA. However, the company’s works council has specific demands for those workers.

According to Automobilwoche, the council, plus German labor union IG Metall, wants to keep a certain number of workers employed at Rüsselsheim, despite the fact that some of the center’s work will overlap with work being performed by PSA’s 13,000 development employees. The union wants a guarantee that 7,700 workers will keep their jobs at the Opel center. As well, it wants work to continue performing work for GM until 2020, which could account for 30 percent of the center’s output.

PSA wants the next-generation Opel Corsa compact to ride atop a PSA platform. However, Opel wants to develop the model’s successor, as well as an SUV based on the Opel Insignia midsize sedan.

Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, chair of the Opel Works Council, has claimed the issue isn’t disputable. As a result, employee information sessions planned for this week have reportedly been cancelled and the deal has seen its ratification date pushed back. Opel still expects the handover to be completed by the end of this year.

[Image: Opel]

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21 Comments on “Dueling Development Centers Force GM to Slam the Brakes on Opel Sale...”

  • avatar

    Seems like GM has got rid of a bunch of problems and got paid for it!

    It’s a shame, Opel has a whole line up with good cars. And are loosing money on everyone the sell!

    But who will in the future develop good technologie for GM?

    • 0 avatar

      GM is getting a lot of its small car tech from its Korean subsidiary these days. Cars from the likes of Opel aren’t in much demand anymore (when was the last time you saw a new Regal on the road)? And the US arm of the company can handle the hot-selling CUVs.

      • 0 avatar


        GM’s next-gen small car program will be born and bred in China, called the GEM architecture it’s slotted to replace small car architecture’s developed by both Korea and Germany.

        There are strong signs GM will move to rid itself of Korean ops by later this year when the original 15-year agreement it signed with the Korean Development Bank when purchasing Daewoo expires in October…

      • 0 avatar

        I see a lot of Astra and Corsa and some Insignia (Regal) every day here in Sweden and more if I go to Germany and England (Vauxhall). I don’t drive Opel but would consider one. If I would buy Korean I would prefer Hyundai or KIA.

      • 0 avatar

        All GM is good at is outsourcing engineering. They simply suck…..

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Since GM is also going to contribute $3 billion toward the underfunded Opel pension plan, it seems GM is effectively paying PSA to take Opel off its hands.

      • 0 avatar

        Considering the cumulative losses over the years and in the future, it looks like GM is stopping the bleeding. It’s a shame the solution involves an amputation, but the main body must survive.

      • 0 avatar

        GM raids the engineering departments of both SAAB and Opel then leaves them to dry. GM not only has lousy ethics, but still build cars people don’t want.

        GM – what a f**king disgrace!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “The union wants a guarantee…”

    Of course they do. The dealmaker geniuses apparently didn’t think of everything before heading out for drinks.

    • 0 avatar

      The German unions and their demands should be the problem of that other Carlos, Tavares of PSA. GM is now just an interested party in tying up the loose ends to execute the agreement, and doesn’t have to get elbow-deep into negotiations, since it’s PSA’s turn to make promises. It’s a prime example of why GM is smart to bail out of Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        tod stiles

        I would normally agree but GM is in a position of weakness. They’ve got to try and salvage something. That something is just getting Opel off the balance sheet.

        “It’s a prime example of why GM is smart to bail out of Europe.”
        Not sure what this means. This demonstrates yet again incredible incompetence (again) on GM’s part. Nothing smart about it at all. Or are you saying they’re smart because automobile companies can’t be successful in Europe?

        • 0 avatar

          Well, GM has been losing billions for decades in Europe, Ford just recently moved to a small level of profitability, FCA has negligible profits in Europe, PSA has had brushes with bankruptcy, and Renault has been saved by Nissan. So no, outside of the Germans, you really don’t cover the cost of capital as a European auto firm.

          • 0 avatar
            tod stiles

            So the Germans can do it. With union representation on the board too. Nissan did not save Renault, it’s the other way around. Nissan was in tough shape before Renault. Love him or hate him Goshen turned Nissan around. Goshen did a lot to turn the rest of the operation around and make it profitable.

            Your right about FCA and PSA. FCA may become a no hoper and PSA – who knows. So yes it can be done with the right management in place, something that GM just doesn’t have. GM is pointed towards the abyss again and now is the time to start cleaning house.

            They will soon become a truck company that happens to make some cars in the not too distant future if they don’t get it together.

          • 0 avatar

            Tod, your last paragraph, that isn’t the case already?

            I wonder how many Malibu sales it takes to earn the profit of a single Tahoe? Lol

            GM is not stupid for bailing on Europe. It’ll never be a source of strength for them I believe.

            Yes, Renault saved Nissan, but I think its Nissan that brings home a large share of the pie for DA ALLIANCE.

            Speaking of them, they should rebadge the Mirage as the Datsun F-10. Ha

  • avatar

    I did not say Renault was originally saved by Nissan – but in recent years Renault would be another basket case were it not for the strength of Nissan.

    • 0 avatar

      Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that Nissan surpassed GM in worldwide sales this past February. I think it is only a matter of time until Nissan surpasses GM in market share permanently. Bara has raped GM, and will join Roger Smith in GM’s hall of shame.

      BTW, the Bolt is the flop of year.

  • avatar

    Both NFL Europe and GM left Europe because they could not hack it there.
    Europeans hate Football and GM cars.

    What a f**king disgrace!!

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