We return to Abandoned History’s coverage of the twists and turns of the Daewoo story, at a time when the company’s predecessor, Shinjin, was no more. After an early Seventies joint venture with General Motors saw the company renamed to General Motors Korea, Shinjin bowed out of the deal after just five years. In 1976 Shinjin’s ownership in the business was sold to a state-owned Korean bank, and General Motors Korea was renamed to Saehan Motor Company. But that didn’t mean GM was out of the picture - far from it.
After a few successful years building a trio of Toyota models (Corona, Publica, and Crown), Shinjin was forced to look elsewhere for a business partner. Toyota wanted to sell cars in China, and China forbade any company that sold products on its shores from having operations in South Korea. As expected, the government stepped in and assisted in a new deal between Toyota, Shinjin, and General Motors.
The deal was finalized in 1972 and saw Toyota sell its stake in Shinjin directly to GM. The 50-50 GM-Shinjin venture saw the latter immediately renamed to General Motors Korea. GMK was immediately the new face of GM product distribution in South Korea. Let’s embark upon a series of particular business arrangements involving Shinjin that didn’t last very long.
Long before Opel became a donor for the badge-engineered Cadillac Catera and Buick Regal, the then GM-owned company shifted its own cars on North American soil. Today’s Rare Ride is a very early example of such a North American offering: It’s a two-door Rekord sedan from 1960.
The handover of General Motors’ money-losing European division to France’s PSA Group seemed complete last July, but now the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars isn’t happy with the bag it’s holding.
PSA claims the acquisition of the Opel and Vauxhall brands left it on the hook for massive fines, all stemming from looming European emissions regulations and the not-so-squeaky-clean state of its new holdings. The automaker’s now seeking nearly $1 billion from GM — more than half of what it paid for the brands.
Thanks mainly to the unloading of its longstanding European operations, General Motors reported a $3 billion net loss in the third quarter of 2017, according to an earnings report released Tuesday.
Punting responsibility of its Opel and Vauxhall subsidiaries to France’s PSA Group definitely didn’t come without a penalty, with most of the expense ($5.4 billion related to deferred tax assets and pension costs) incurred during the last quarter. Still, GM prefers the one-time earnings hit to keeping an unprofitable operation alive on the other side of the Atlantic.
While the Opel sale cut into the automaker’s balance sheet, The General also saw less earnings from car sales. Production declined in Q3 2017 compared to last year, and that meant less black ink. Still, GM doesn’t see many dark clouds. Why? One word: crossovers.
It was to be called the Monza.
GM Europe expected to assemble the Opel Insignia-based SUV, roughly the size of the Ford Edge, right alongside the Opel Insignia at its Rüsselsheim, Germany, assembly plant. Which is in Rüsselsheim.
But development of the so-called Monza was either lost in the shuffle or used as a bargaining chip, depending on whom you ask, when Groupe PSA (Peugeot and Citroën) announced the $2.3-billion purchase of its European brands, Opel and Vauxhall. Now it appears the Monza project is suspended, according to AutoExpress, as PSA decides to “freeze all GM-related projects.”
What’s it mean for Buick?
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.
As expected, General Motors started off the work week by officially announcing the selloff of its European division to France’s PSA Group.
The Opel and Vauxhall brands, which have stubbornly resisted all attempts to return to profitability, are no longer GM’s problem. It’s a complex deal, but on the product side, Americans can still expect a generation of Buick Regals based on the Opel Insignia.
As expected, a transfer of General Motors’ subsidiary Adam Opel AG to European automaker PSA looks to be a done deal.
PSA’s board approved the deal on Friday, with an official announcement planned for early next week. Considering the European peripheral has cost GM $15 billion in losses since 2000, GM probably isn’t terribly sad to see Opel go.
With talks progressing all week, the two automakers focused on differences on about $10 billion worth of Opel outstanding pension deficiencies and a GM request that a PSA-owned Opel would not compete with its own Chevrolet-based lineup in China or in other overseas markets.
Apparently, the tidy sale of General Motors’ European division to French automaker PSA Group isn’t so clean-cut after all.
According to German publication Der Spiegel, PSA is looking to secure more than just the Opel and Vauxhall brands. It also wants a key bit of gear — one that would make the new European alliance market leaders in electric vehicle technology.
GM isn’t willing to let it go without a host of conditions.
Opel autoworkers and executives worried that a French takeover will see their pretzels and bratwurst replaced by baguettes and brie can rest easy, or so the automaker looking to buy their company claims.
France’s PSA Group, which could submit a bid to buy Opel and sister division Vauxhall this week, would give the German automaker the autonomy it desperately craves, the company’s CEO told labor reps and Germany’s chancellor.
That elongated “Z” won’t become a fleur-de-lis.
What’s the selling price for a huge automaker’s entire European operations? $2 billion, apparently — one billion in cash and another billion in gained liabilities.
It comes across as a movie scene where the departing mother soothes the nerves of two children frightened by their father’s impending remarriage.
In this case, the children are the trembling employees of German General Motors division Opel, and the departing parent is GM CEO Mary Barra. Well, “departing” isn’t accurate, at least not yet. The American automaker is in talks with France’s PSA Group to potentially sell off Opel, as well as its Vauxhall sister division.
Yesterday, Barra spoke to employees at Opel headquarters, hoping to allay fears and quell protests from Opel’s works council and union, as well as the German government. Her words, or what we know of them, relayed the message, “Kids, it’s gonna be okay.”
As politicians and labor unions in Europe reel from yesterday’s revelation of high-level talks between General Motors and Peugeot over a possible sale of Opel, GM’s most European-infused brand on this side of the Atlantic is operating business as usual.
Buick, which is GM’s second-largest brand globally by volume behind Chevrolet, has product in the wings, including the largely rumored but unconfirmed Buick Regal, based on the recently revealed Opel Insignia.
Buick sees no problem with that.
After yesterday’s shocking news of a potential takeover of GM-owned Opel and Vauxhall by France’s PSA Group, General Motors CEO Mary Barra hopped on a plane to the Fatherland.
Given the sudden uncertainty surrounding a major employer, Opel’s works council, labor union and the German government staged a collective panic attack. Soothing words were needed, stat. Britain, home of Opel’s Vauxhall sister division, would also like to hear a few assurances of its own.
Maybe it’s leftover regional rivalry from generations past, or perhaps Germany just doesn’t want anything to affect its status as Europe’s financial powerhouse. Whatever the deep-seated reason, the residents of Deutschland are none too pleased about a possible French takeover of the Opel brand.
Earlier today, PSA Group, maker of Citroën and Peugeot vehicles, was revealed to be in serious talks to acquire the General Motors-owned automaker (as well as its Vauxhall sister company). Politicians and the head of Opel’s workers union apparently didn’t see this coming.
On the other side of the Maginot Line, the French seem just fine with the idea.
Multiple media sources are reporting that an acquisition of General Motors’ European divisions by France’s PSA Group could occur within a matter of days.
Talks between GM and PSA, maker of the Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands, are reportedly at an “advanced stage.” If finalized, the deal would see GM shed the money-losing divisions it has owned for nearly a century.
The United Kingdom isn’t scared of electric vehicles, what with their high fuel prices and limited driving distances (when compared to the U.S.).
However, General Motors has developed a serious case of cold feet on the issue of launching a Vauxhall-branded Chevrolet Bolt, which could prove a decent sales performer. An all-electric range of 238 miles is impressive, so why is the General so shy?
Rumors have swirled for months that Opel would be implicated in the dieselgate scandal. Over the weekend, serious allegations took flight that Opel does in fact use defeat devices in two diesel models.
Opel has been summoned to appear in front of the German Transport Ministry investigative committee this week to answer claims that its cars are capable of skirting emissions laws.
Der Spiegel reported last week the Opel Astra was found to contain software that will deactivate emissions control systems when the outside temperature is either below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) or above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, it discovered the emissions systems do not work when engine speed exceed 2,400 rpm, the car is moving faster than 145 km/h, or ambient air pressure is less than 915 millibar, which would indicate an elevation of more than 850 meters.
When the previous generation of Astra made it to American shores — dressed in leather, wood and Buick Verano badges — it wasn’t a foreign invasion. Instead, the Astra-cum-Verano was a good soldier coming home; the Astra J always felt like a Buick.
The brand-new Astra, now wearing the K designator, is lighter, more agile and stuffed with lots of new-fangled tech. Europeans love it, as shown by its European Car of the Year award. But will Americans love the next Verano, which is bound to be based on this European compact?
If you live in the north, you might consider taking your kids tobogganing on Tesla’s NASDAQ trend line.
That, GM wants less rentals, “Imported from Detroit” becomes “Deported from Auburn Hills,” automakers fear the Brexit, and rage grows around pointless concept cars … after the break!
Last week, Opel teased its upcoming GT Concept by saying: “You will see Opel with a fresh pair of eyes.”
That’s just lovely.
But let’s take a step back, look at General Motors’ Alpha platform with a fresh pair of eyes and wonder aloud together: Is it all Alpha from here on out?
A Dutch journalist said Opel dealers are secretly updating emissions control software to bring into compliance cars equipped with the 1.6-liter diesel engine, disguising the fix as an unrelated software update.
Opel issued a statement strongly denying that it was changing emissions of its cars.
Dutch news site VRT News said it tested two cars with and without the updates and said emissions of nitrogen oxides were significantly reduced — more than half in one car and by three-quarters in another car.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be the automaker’s first female chairwoman of their board of directors, the automaker said Monday.
Barra takes over for Tim Solso, who will remain on the board.
Barra took over as CEO two years ago and is GM’s first female CEO. When Barra took over as CEO in January 2014, the automaker split the role of CEO and chairman following Dan Akerson’s departure.
General Motors on Thursday denied that its own internal testing revealed the Opel Zafira 1.6-liter diesel flouted European emissions and fuel economy standards, Bloomberg reported ( via Automotive News).
A German news magazine program, Monitor, said officials at Opel knew its midsize crossover polluted up to 15-percent more carbon dioxide than advertised, and that the automaker knew its fuel claims couldn’t be substantiated. The report also said that separate testing at a Swiss facility showed the Zafira exceeded advertised fuel consumption and emissions by 20 percent.
Or, in other words: Another chapter in the “ Everyone Cheated/Just Volkswagen Cheated” saga.
They call it the first A-segment CUV in the world, which should be enough to make you run in the opposite direction. An SUV the size of a Fiat 500 is something that should never exist on any planet I want to live on. But, surprisingly, after driving one for a week, I realized that it may, in fact, have a point and a purpose.
And I came close to answering the crucial question – would Opel Adam Rocks make a good Buick David? Or would it be better to import something bigger?
Thanks to a leak from GM Europe, this is the next-generation 2016 Opel Astra before its planned debut later this year at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Only the five-door hatchback model is shown in the leaked batch, though Opel does plan to offer other variants, including a sedan, wagon and a hotted-up version.
Now, let’s see if engineers at Buick here in North America can figure out how to replace the Opel lightning logo with their own tri-shield.
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- Redapple2 Why does anyone have to get permission to join? Shouldnt the rules to race in a league be straight forward like. Build the car to the specs. Pay the race entry fee. Set the starting grid base on time trials.?Why all the BS?I cant watch F1 any more. No refuel. Must use 2 different types of tires. Rare passing. Same team wins every week. DRS only is you are this close and on and on with more BS. Add in the skysports announcer that sounds he is yelling for the whole 90 minutes at super fast speed. I m done. IMSA only for me.
- Redapple2 Barra at evil GM is not worth 20 mill/ yr but dozens (hundreds) of sports players are. Got it. OK.
- Dusterdude @SCE to AUX , agree CEO pay would equate to a nominal amount if split amongst all UAW members . My point was optics are bad , both total compensation and % increases . IE for example if Mary Barra was paid $10 million including merit bonuses , is that really underpaid ?
- ToolGuy "At risk of oversimplification, a heat pump takes ambient air, compresses it, and then uses the condenser’s heat to warm up the air it just grabbed from outside."• This description seems fairly dramatically wrong to me.
- SCE to AUX The UAW may win the battle, but it will lose the war.The mfrs will never agree to job protections, and production outsourcing will match any pay increases won by the union.With most US market cars not produced by Detroit, how many people really care about this strike?