German Media Writes Opel Eulogy, Blames Thoughtless Akerson

The summary execution of Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke, and the mess this has created, is front page material in the German press today. The fingers point in the direction of Detroit. Detroit has no clear strategy and changes directions like soiled underwear. The fingers also point at an impulsive Dan Akerson who is out of his depth.

According to Germany’s Handelsblatt, the firing of Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke went down like this:

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Opel Between Rock And Hard Place: Bankruptcy The Only Way Out?

Opel’s stand-in boss Stephen Girsky demands changes from his workforce. “Our successful revitalization demands from all of us that we accept to do business differently than before, and that we do it quickly,” Girsky wrote in an email to staff, cited by Germany’s BILD Zeitung. How different, remains unsaid. Workers and unions expect a fight and gear up for one. Opel is running out of money. Bankruptcy rears its head.

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More Mess: GM Fires Opel CEO, Keeps His Lukewarm Plan

After putting Opel CEO Stracke abruptly out to pasture, one would think that his (allegedly interim) successor Steve Girsky has a new plan to rescue Opel and to spare GM shareholders further losses. Not so. The new man will keep the old plan. “GM fully supports the current plan to strengthen Opel and improve its operational competitiveness,” a spokesman for Opel told Reuters.

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Opel: Stracke Out, Girsky In, GM In Panic

The Opel mess claims another victim. “Opel’s Karl-Friedrich Stracke stepped down from his position as chief executive of the embattled carmaker to take on “special assignments”, where he will report to the Chairman and CEO of parent General Motors,” Reuters says.

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Asked Whether He Will Close Bochum Plant, Opel Chief Says He Hasn't Decided Yet

Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke was asked to tell his workers unambiguously whether the Opel plant in Bochum will be closed or remain open. Today, Stracke met with workers in Bochum. He told them that no decision has been made – yet.

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Opel Open To More Partners, Presents Restructuring Plan To No Applause

A lot of the Opel news seen below emanated from an all hands meeting at Opel’s ancestral home in Rüsselsheim. Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke explained the restructuring plan for Opel. According to German media reports, Stracke delivered more questions than answers . According to Reuters Germany, “the management of the lossmaking GM subsidiary did not contribute to a heightened confidence of employees.” The impression is that the management has no plan.

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Prepare For Years Of Hemmorhage: Opel In No Hurry To Stop The Bleeding

If you are anxious to hear what Opel is going to do to stop the bleeding of money (just in case you are holding GM stock,) then you need a lot of patience. GM Europe CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke thinks he might have a plan within two to three months. He might have a plan. Setting the plan in motion may take longer.

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Internal Paper Predicts Massive Red Ink At Opel

Without Opel, GM might not be the world’s largest automaker. But it would be a highly profitable automaker. Opel will cost GM approximately € 1 billion ($1.3 billion) in the coming year and will miss its restructuring plan. Reason for the shortfall: Opel will sell only 1.4 million cars next year, 100,000 less than budgeted. How do we know this? We don’t, but it is in an internal forecast of Opel. The document somehow came into the hands of the German magazine Capital.

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Opel's Stracke Has Visions

Many years ago, an old school Volkswagen exec said to me: “If I want to have visions, I simply drink a few bottles more.”

How things have changed. Nowadays, if you want to be a CEO, you must have a vision. Winterkorn’s vision is world domination by 2018. His colleague Karl-Friedrich Stracke also has a brand new vision. According to Germany’s Focus Magazin, Stracke said at a meeting for the upper management:

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Opel Soap, Day 6: We Don't Comment Rumors Of A Denial

Workers, government, the press, all want a clear statement from GM: Is Opel up for sale, or not?

No clear statement is forthcoming, and frustration runs high. There never had been an official denial of the possible spin-off. The stress is so enormous that an alleged telephone call in which GM’s Dan Akerson supposedly told Opel’s Karl-Friedrich Stracke that purportedly GM is not in talks with a buyer for Opel, makes headlines around the world. Is that for real?

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GM's German Patient: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Last year, GM’s German patient, Opel, hemorrhaged $1.6 billion. It could easily have been twice than that, if Nick Reilly had fired the more than 8,000 workers that are on Opel’s endangered species list. Letting people go can get very expensive in Europe if you are a going concern. The only factory that was closed was Antwerp, to the tune of $532 million. That came to a little bit over $200,000 per worker. Reilly didn’t want to rain on the IPO roadshow, and moved the mass firings to this year. GM’s thank you: Reilly was fired.

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  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.