Carmaking To Get More Expensive In Deutschland

Uh-oh: The price of doing car business in Germany is heading up, increasing pressure especially on Opel. “Germany’s IG Metall union may push a pay claim between 5 and 6.5 percent for about 100,000 workers at VW’s six western German factories” Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council told Reuters today. What does this have to do with Opel, you say?

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Volkswagen Steps On The Brakes Of The Passat

With only a 1.9 percent of lost sales in the black hole called Europe, Volkswagen remains relatively unaffected by the European contagion, especially compared to PSA (- 12.9 percent), Renault (-19.1 percent), Opel (- 15.8 percent), Ford (- 13.2 percent) and Fiat (- 16.1 percent). But Volkswagen can’t walk on water either. Volkswagen is throttling down the production of its bread & butter car, the Passat in reaction to lackluster demand.

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Opel Unions Want Their Very Own Jobs Bank Program

Germany’s metal worker union IG Metall proposed a new plan yesterday to solve the overcapacity at Opel without undue grief on its members: The union will agree to the closure of Opel’s Bochum plant, if Opel guarantees that no hobs will be lost until 2018. Reuters takes that as a tacit warming up to the inevitable, while demanding the seemingly impossible.

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GM's Interim-Opel-Opera: Fringe Theater In Rsselheim - FREE: Bonus Short Course In German Management Speak

Industrial-strength theater

Yesterday evening, while yours truly was in seedy Tokyo bars, rubbing shoulders and more with paid informants, word reached us that Opel’s new sales chief Alfred Rieck allegedly threw-in the towel and left Opel in disgust, after only seven months of valiantly trying to move the damaged goods called Opel cars. After a few phone calls to Germany this morning, a different story emerged. Siehe unten.

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Volkswagen Replaces Aluminum With Steel To Save Weight And Money

Here is today’s other baffling science story: In its quest to save weight, Volkswagen is ripping aluminum out of plans and bills-of–material, to replace it – with steel. Not good old steel. They replace it with much better new steel. According to Reuters, “Volkswagen AG is using new high-strength steel to make cars lighter and comply with strict emissions rules, confounding forecasts that aluminum would be the metal of choice for reducing weight.”

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Documents Reveal: Neumann DOES Look Like An Ostrich
Separated at birth We are in receipt of complaints that question our assertion that former Volkswagen executive and future Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann &ldqu…
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Opel: Steve Girsky Takes Off The Gloves. I'd Keep Them On, The Climate Will Be Icy

Go get them, tiger!

So far, Steve Girsky, dispatched on a mission impossible to Deutschland to clean up Opel, has been dancing like a butterfly, no stinging involved. Apart from targeted leaks, and an announcement to stop making cars in Opel’s Bochum plant after 2016, which really did not surprise anyone, there were no big dispatches about the heroics of Steve the hatchet man, who was sent to the Old Country to stick it to the socialist metalworker Nazis. Today, and most likely after increasingly impatient prodding from Detroit, Steve took his gloves off, and a swing at some 20,000 unionized workers in Germany.

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Opel To Get Ostrich As CEO

GM’s troubled European daughter Opel finally will get a more permanent CEO. As rumored since last year, it is the former Volkswagen manager Karl-Thomas Neumann. German Automobilwoche [sub] expects Neumann to be confirmed by Opel’s supervisory board on January 31.

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It's A Miracle: Stuttgart's Green Mayor Praises Porsche

Shaved head: Works council chief Uwe Hück. Needs new suit: Mayor Fritz Kuhn. Regulation Volkswagen white hair: Porsche CEO Matthias Müller

One would think that a card carrying environmentalist visits Porsche’s plant in Zuffenhausen only for picketing purposes, or as a target for bags with paint or worse. Today, Porsche was visited by a card-carrying environmentalist, and by Stuttgart’s mayor. The two are the same. The usually deeply conservative Stuttgart, home of Daimler and Porsche, elected Fritz Kuhn, member of the Green Party, as its mayor. Mainly because the other candidate Sebastian Turner was a disaster, along with being an adman who is not without criticism in his own ranks. But I digress. Anyway, His Green Honor was at Porsche today.

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Volkswagen On A Tear Globally, Misses GM In China By A Hair

Volkswagen has ended the year on a strong note. Shrugging off the troubles at home in Europe, Volkswagen increased its global group sales by a respectable 20.7 percent in December of 2012, bringing its global group sales for the year above the 9 million mark at an 11.2% increase compared to 2011.

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French Government Urging PSA To Buy Opel

The French government is pushing PSA Peugeot Citroen to buy Opel, says Le Monde, which claims to have its information from sources at the French Finance Ministry and in the entourage of France’s President Francois Hollande. Buying moribund Opel would allow PSA to stand up to “ogre Volkswagen” which “has chosen to eliminate PSA,” as an informant told the Paris paper.

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Germany In December 2012: Ach Du Mein Lieber

The German car market ended the year with a bang – to the chin. Germany had shrugged-off the European contagion for most of the year, but in December, sales sagged by an unfestive 16.4 percent.

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Opel: The Factories Are Leaving The Sinking Ship


GM’s Opel took another step towards a possible bankruptcy. Opel sold six European facilities to the American mother , says the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The real estate includes an engine plant in Hungary, a development center in Turin, Italy, a factory in Gliwice, Poland, a transmission plant in Austria, and other “activities” in the UK and Russia, the paper says. The FAZ received a “no comment” from Opel, but no denial. Opel is not rolling in money, despite the sale.

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Get An Umbrella! It's Raining New Platforms At The GM/PSA Alliance (Opel's Future, A Pictorial)

The alliance between GM and PSA is beginning to show concrete results – not just yet, but at least they decided to work on them. In a joint press release, GM and PSA announced that they will jointly work on what they call “three common vehicle platform development projects.” Meaning cars. Finally.

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Infinitis To Be Made In Sunderland. Baby Benzes To Follow?

Infiniti’s often discussed future premium compact model will be built at Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland, Nissan says. It was previously announced that the new Infiniti will “share a platform developed with Mercedes.

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.
  • Wjtinfwb I've seen worse on the highways around Atlanta, usually with a refrigerator or washer wedged into the trunk and secured with recycled twine...
  • Wjtinfwb Surprising EB Flex hasn't weighed in yet on it being the subject of a recall...