Deep Dive: General Motors considers selling Opel to Chinese

Would, could, should. Too many assumptions, not enough hard facts? Maybe. From GM and VW, one cannot expect anything but soft denials. The Chinese play their cards even closer to their chest, and Berlin is of course equally unwilling to put its underlying concerns into words. But even by reading between the lines it soon becomes clear that something major is about to happen in the German-American auto landscape. No, we don't know yet exactly where lightning will strike and when. But it seems obvious that after a short consolidation phase, Opel is again facing a period of uncertainty and a possible change of ownership.

And who is to blame for this development but GM? You see, the string-pullers in Detroit lack patience, loyalty, and vision. They forbade Opel for much too long to sell cars in booming markets like China and South-America -- VW has in China alone cracked the 500,000 barrier, but Opel's combined exports to non-European Union countries hover at 50,000 units. Think Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer, Saab. Think 23,000 layoffs in 2009 alone. Think of that $50 billion in government aid and of the creditors left in its wake. It is hard to believe that the New Detroit will be any more thoughtful and conscientious when it comes to protecting its ten European plants and their 40,000 employees.

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kego53
What will GM build Buicks off of in the future if they sell Opel? Chevy and Cadillac probably have more Opel content in them than GM would like to admit also. Looks like selling the goose that laid the golden egg, hoping to throw dust into the eyes of consumers with the intent to conceal the origins of their most successful models. Whatever, this is true to form GM modus operandi.
Observer0
"Holden is the de facto Australian Opel."@Speed 3. Just for the records: This simply is wrong. The only remaining Holden, which is derived from Opel is the aging Combo. Just see Holden's website.
Observer0
I am citing a recent report from the Detroit News: "Akerson said GM is making progress in turning around its troubled European unit, which lost $1.8 billion last year. The company broke even in Europe in the first quarter before one-time charges. He described Europe as no longer the "abyss we were looking into" 18 to 24 months ago."To me this does not sound at all like an intended sale of Opel. Why should GM sell Opel just now, after it's gaining traction, after 7 months of consecutive market-share growth in Europe and investing billions for its restructuring??? Furthermore, I hardly do believe that the German antitrust authority would approve Opel's takeover by VW. Sorry, but this entire report is nothing but pure non-sense to me! I guess these rumors were launched intentionally by German media and an Opel competitor in the background (if not VW itself) in order to damage Opel's reputation, i.e. to hurt its growing success.
Speed_3
Wow so GM may really sell Opel. The relationship has always been Opel gives and GM takes, so its not surprising that GM is ready to dump Opel when it has no more to give. In terms of strategy, this will really decimate GM's presence in Europe; I doubt Chevrolet and Cadillac will make up the volume of Opel anytime soon. Also, what does this mean for Buick and Holden? Holden is the de facto Australian Opel. I always thought that a Chevy--Buick/Opel/Holden/Vauxhall--Cadillac strategy would have worked well globally. It looked like that is where GM was going was creating a global entry-level luxury brand which changed name with continent. Oh well. Lets hope GM knows what its doing (I doubt it).
Speed_3
Wow so GM may really sell Opel. The relationship has always been Opel gives and GM takes, so its not surprising that GM is ready to dump Opel when it has no more to give. In terms of strategy, this will really decimate GM's presence in Europe; I doubt Chevrolet and Cadillac will make up the volume of Opel anytime soon. Also, what does this mean for Buick and Holden? Holden is the de facto Australian Opel. I always thought that a Chevy--Buick/Opel/Holden/Vauxhall--Cadillac strategy would have worked well globally. It looked like that is where GM was going was creating a global entry-level luxury brand which changed name with continent. Oh well. Lets hope GM knows what its doing (I doubt it).
sbdude
Sounds like GM has once again SAABed the hell out of another brand, and one that provided it with invaluable engineering and technology. Buick wouldn't be what it is in China (and perhaps the U.S.) without Opel. This reeks of robbing peter to pay paul.

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