Comments on: The Opel saga http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Fritz http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/comment-page-1/#comment-6256 Thu, 03 Sep 2009 00:36:18 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/#comment-6256 Zu Guttenberg is about the only person in Germany to have admitted, though only briefly (he has been forced to change his music since then), that the Magna plan makes no sense and insolvency may be the only viable option. WSJ has reported that GM, besides putting in a billion euros of its own, has apparently been offered loans for another billion from UK, Span and Poland. If, as Spiegel reported, it is true that the German factories cost twice as much as those in Spain, and over four times as much as the factory in Poland, the only way to return to profitability is to close all the factories in Germany. Even if GM were to accept over 100 billion euros from Germany for Opel (as in Hypo Re), this money would simply go down the drain since the German factories are the cause of the problem in the first place. To this one should add the hostility faced by the German government and especially the trade unions.

]]>
By: the Shah http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/comment-page-1/#comment-6242 Wed, 02 Sep 2009 21:20:08 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/#comment-6242 Opel is a cash-suck, and the German auto-unions want to run it with the support of the German gov’t ($$). I don’t really know why either of the bidders would actually want Opel, honestly. I drove one top Opel model from Marseilles to Venice last summer… nothing special, lacked some guts going uphill at 130km/h. But it did go 750km (i.e. the full one-way trip) on a 50L tank. Of course, that tank cost 80 Euros, or ~ $115USD. But I digress… I would’ve been much happier in a BMW or Peugeot honestly.

]]>
By: jvriebeeck http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/comment-page-1/#comment-6226 Wed, 02 Sep 2009 17:31:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/#comment-6226 Not really. The big point for the Germans at this point is kicking the Americans out of Opel. Which if you think about it, conforms with their long-term industrial strategy (killing GM for good is pretty much a good thing for every European country), and at the end of day, they are sick and tired of having some second-tier company run by a bunch of idiots out of the American Midwest running the show in Germany.

What they did with Hypo Real Estate they can do with GM; essentially force the GM to sell no matter they like it or not. And if zu Guttenberg has anything to do with this, he would surely force them to sell.

]]>
By: Fritz http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/comment-page-1/#comment-6207 Wed, 02 Sep 2009 14:59:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/#comment-6207 Does the Spiegel suggesting this is the reason Germany prefers Magna make it so?

Magna is preferred, as the German authorities have already openly admitted (and the union representatives even more so), because it forces control of Opel from GM and the US. If this had anything to do with long-term interests or viability, as reported in Germany, RHJ would be preferred. Spiegel have also run an article where they report the Spanish factories run at around half the cost of those in Germany (and Zaragoza production would be shifted Eisienach under the Magna plan), with the Polish factories running at less than a quarter of the cost. If this had anything to do with viability, the RHJ plan would be preferred, as the number of jobs slashed are the same, but the RHJ cuts would bring Opel around by concentrating cuts a little more on non-viable factories in Germany. Another important difference is that the Magna plan rests entirely on the Russian market which has fallen by over 50% this year!

Is the 1.5 billion loan even legal? Arcandor and Porsche were earlier denied loans from the German government, as these would breach the EU treaties, since the problems at these companies pre-date this economic crisis. However Opel hasn’t been profitable for donkeys years, and its problems easily predate this crisis. How is it then that this aid isn’t illegal?

]]>
By: Pietro http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/comment-page-1/#comment-6200 Wed, 02 Sep 2009 13:27:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/02/the-opel-saga/#comment-6200 Too bad for Merkel…she could really use those 25,000 votes.

]]>