• May 26, 2009
It looks like the German government is about to announce its list of preferred bidders for Opel this week, and the list is likely to include Fiat and Magna. Why would this list be coming from Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman and not, say, GM? Because the German government will have to step in with financing guarantees when the deal is made.

Saturn fancier and parts supplier extraordinaire, Magna International, and Italian automaker Fiat S.p.A. are the likely mentions. Magna had been seen as the frontrunner until Fiat sweetened its offer recently. Another name likely to make the list is RHJ International, a Belgian holding group.

Germany wants to keep all four Opel plants running and obviously wants to prevent a complete collapse of the company, but at least one government official thinks an orderly insolvency might be a better option. Economy Minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg has called the offers inadequate and has suggested that insolvency might be necessary to save some portion of the company in the long run. That hasn't sat well with other officials.

With Chrysler and GM here in the States, others think that everything should be done to avoid insolvency, and protect Opel's 25,000 workers from unemployment. GM has until June 1 to show its final restructuring plan to the U.S. government, and the sale of Opel is a large part of it. Even if the sale occurs before then, GM is seen as ever more likely to follow Chrysler into Chapter 11 however.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does this mean that we would now have a Canadian car company? Oh Canada, Saturns for all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Everyone likes Canada. I can't think of anything that I dislike about Canada.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Opel will always remain a German company regardless of who actually buys it - unless it was formally wound up and a new company registered elsewhere in its place.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Swede I agree. If I ever do something really heinous and get myself deported, I'm going to Montréal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm rooting for Magna. I'm sure Saturn would be included in Magna's offer as well.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Opel-Russian company now?!
      Sensation selling GM-here:Opel-Russian company?-video
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet 5 [insert currency here]'s Magna wins.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My money's on Magna winning and Opel going into liquidation within a year from now. Magna is a parts manufacturer, they've never produced cars on a large scale and lack the industrial base and expertise to do so. Their plan is heavily reliant on the Russian market which has fallen by more than 50% this year. I would have thought this was no way for them to try out for their very first time, but it looks like they've already got it in the bag. I still don't understand where Opel are going to get their high-efficiency engines from if Fiat will no longer have to supply them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So true... worst part (for opel, at least) is that russian "honest rich people" are interested in opel. The guy who bought the old tooling for the sebring from chrysler, has expressed his idea that "GAZ could help opel with technical expertise" or something along those lines, Putin is sooo rooting for a russian opel, and the russians have plans to build an empire selling 5 MILLION cars a year... like in the good old days, when there were only 2 cars there.