• May 29, 2009


According to the BBC News, supplier Magna International has come to terms with General Motors to purchase a majority stake in its European Opel division. While an agreement has been reached between the two parties, the German government – which has agreed to provide financial assistance for Opel – needs to sign off on the matter. Magna and GM have signed a memorandum of understanding that will reportedly help Opel secure some 1.5 billion euros ($2.1B USD) in bridge loans, as well as shore up protections against creditors in the event of a GM bankruptcy.

For its part, Magna will reportedly pour somewhere between 500-700 million euros into Opel, and it plans to cut 10% of the marque's workforce in Germany – about 2,500 employees.

Interestingly, GM will reportedly hold on to a 35 of the company. No word yet on what will happen to Vauxhall, Opel's UK twin. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: BBC]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting. I think GM wouldn't have sold GME to FIAT in the fear of losing a market. Magna's intrest keeps the ownership structure in NA (GM + Magna shares still over 50%), magna probably won't pillage the platforms and shut GM out like FIAT probably would have. And, I think this will allow Opel/Vauxhall to survive for GM to keep selling vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this BBC news are true, GM was making everyone else look like idiots and all this is a scheme to find someone to share the Opel financial obligations without giving up the brand and continue to take advantage of their work.

      Backstabbers. They whine to the German government for money... then realize the Germans are not fools and they will not give money just like that without protecting their jobs... then they put Opel for a total sale, giving the Germans the major roll of finding a partner investor... some of the them appear and give proposals... then at the last day GM suspiciously demand more money... and now they say "screw you, we'll keep it, we'll sell a portion to these guys, and we'll send 10% of the workers to misery, just for fun".
      I will not be impressed if they shift all the production from Germany to Russia in a near future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ MAXLD

        > GM was making everyone else look like idiots and all this is a scheme to find someone to share the Opel financial obligations without giving up the brand and continue to take advantage of their work.

        GM's stake in Opel would be reduced to 35%. Still a considerable amount, but Magna and Sberbank could block GM's access to Opel platforms if they desired it. However, GM has a back up plan.

        GM's counting on Daewoo, not Opel, to source its passenger car engineering from now on. This is why GM refused to sell shares of Daewoo when Korean government demanded it as the condition of a bailout.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wanted Magna to take over Opel, I see no negatives in this at all.

      Penske could get Saturn, that's fine. Or if Magna is SMART they will BUY Saturn and its dealer network lock, stock and barrel. When all is said and done, this is STILL the largest market for car sales, even with a reduction to 10 million units and you need access too it, no need to re-invent the wheel...

      Magna supplies many of the things in cars anyway, this is a win-win you basically just add car production to your ability to product and develop parts. The US should have helped Magna by Chrysler, it couldn't have been much worst than what's happening now.


      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not too late for Obama administration to learn from Germans and to sell Chrysler to Magna instead of sleazy scamming Fiat.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rick, its the internet. Everyone mouths off without any thought behind it.

        I have huge respect for Magna and the work they do, but Fiat definately isn't a 'bad' suitor for Chrysler. I mean, Mercedes crippled them beyond belief, can Fiat do any worse at this point?
        • 5 Years Ago
        And do you believe Magna could do better than Fiat, an actual car company with over a 100 years of experience? I don't understand the 'sleazy' insult--Fiat has my respect.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does it come with Vauxhall? Buy 1 get 1 one free!
        • 5 Years Ago
        There is a big production plant in Coventry where they make V6 3lt engines for Opel, SAAB and Vauxhall. Therefore, besides a brand name you get ``a bit`` more...
      • 5 Years Ago
      @hypermiler

      I don't think it would be that simple to block GM access to Opel platforms with GM's 35% stake. GM no doubt has some clause in the deal giving them access. Maybe they had a long term free license to use current Opel technology before things went badly wrong. It's what I would do if I was in charge at GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Bloke

        > Adrian - I'm awaiting hypermiler's comments about the SCCS platform products, some of which are yet to debut.

        GM already switched to Daewoo's Gamma II platform.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Adrian - I'm awaiting hypermiler's comments about the SCCS platform products, some of which are yet to debut.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hypermiler - strange that, since the 2010 Meriva will use the SCCS. Gamma II won't be used until the Corsa mk5 debuts in 2011.

        And when it comes to Fiat - know the product instead of shooting your mouth off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So now that Magna has Opel instead of Fiat, we know who the likely dealer will be statestide if the Saturn dealerships stay with Penske.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Colin Smith

        Magna would like to distribute Opels through Saturn dealer network to get production running again in Opel's German plants that Magna vowed to keep open.

        However, Penske is eying Renault Korea's vehicles, the only place where you can source Honda-level quality(Better than Nissan/Infiniti and Hyundais) vehicles at Hyundai-level prices. Renault Korea's vehicles aren't cheap(in fact, they cost more than equivalent Hyundais), but the quality is first-class.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Destroy it directly or Destroy it indirectly: GM's Motto. Now that they've chosen the weakest possible owner for the brand, you can give Opel less then 5 years before some Hedge Fund is brought in to bury the remains.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I assume that GM is going to keep Holden, as Holden has essentially completely shifted from Opel vehicles to Daewoo vehicles (except for the Commodore, which it has sourced to Daewoo (Veritas (Statesman)) and Vauxhall (VXR8).
      • 5 Years Ago
      An educated guess here...Magna will now take the Saturn facilities and dealership network, building and selling Opels here on the North American market.

      BG
      • 5 Years Ago
      So this way GM can continue developing cars with Opel and sell Opels in north Americas as Buicks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sleazy scamming Fiat? With the experience and heritage of building cars that Fiat has? Stop talking out of your derriere.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Bloke

        > Sleazy scamming Fiat? With the experience and heritage of building cars that Fiat has?

        Fiat cars are clunkers, and they know it. This is why Fiat wanted to take over Opel so that Chrysler could build Opels instead of Fiats in the US. Now that Opel's gone, Fiat has to build Fiats in Chrysler plants, a recipe for disaster.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hypermiler ... clunkers? This is 2009, not 1969. Evidently you're not aware of the enormous success of their small cars over the years, how good the JTD engines are (so good its widely used by GME), or their success in COTY awards. How many have you owned in recent years? If you knew the product, you'd be better off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The GME bestseller is Opel Corsa with g.punto fiat platform and JTD fiat engine.
    • Load More Comments