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.