• Jun 28, 2009
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, watching the travails of GM, Opel and Magna from his comfy Italian perch, has sent word that his previous offer for Opel is still on the table if anyone is interested. That offer, though, can't be sweetened because he doesn't "believe we could improve Fiat's offer. It's the most rational one we can put forward from an industrial viewpoint."
It doesn't appear as though anyone's listening. The German government wants to save German jobs, Opel workers are determined to vote down anyone who tries to take them away, and GM wants the most money and the least competition. Fiat's offer doesn't exactly fit that template.

GM and Magna & Co. will dance for a while longer, and if that doesn't work out, then GM will begin again with RHJ and Beijing Automotive. In the meantime, someone's going to have to pay to keep Opel running. Could it be that the most reasonable offer will be left unanswered while the other parties look for more expedient solutions?

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago

      "That's why Hyundai Mobis spotted an opening and has already started wooing the Germans to be Magna's replacement."

      That's supposed to be Magna's replacement as a supplier, not a buyer for Opel.

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        • 5 Years Ago
        So many spammers here nowadays.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is probably going to come down to who the Germans dislike the least - Italians or Chinese?

      Magna was questionable from the outset simply because no major customer of theirs is going to stand for handing money to a competitor. If the rumors are true and Magna wanted access to GM's future platforms as well as the current Opel stuff, there's no way GM is going to give that to Magna either. That's why Hyundai Mobis spotted an opening and has already started wooing the Germans to be Magna's replacement.

      Marchionne has two problems: 1) money, 'cause he ain't going use ANY of his own, and 2) he won't step up and say which GM Europe plants he'd close because he doesn't want any country to step up and torpedo his plans. IMHO he should deal with Chrysler, snap up Suzuki as an appetizer, then wallow off to digest what he's bitten off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "...no major customer of theirs is going to stand for handing money to a competitor. "

        "...no major customer of theirs is going to stand for handing money to a competitor. "

        Clearly you do not understand how intertwined the auto industry is. Companies build stuff for each other all the time and share lots of suppliers. A large amount of the components of the Nissan Titan is built by Visteon, which was party of Ford and may still be. Companies build cars for each other, share engineering costs, transmissions, engines and more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMHO Fiat should steer well away from both Volvo and Saab. The problem to date has been exactly the same for the bankrupt US carmakers, the almost bankrupt Swedish carmakers, and the very sick (though very well marketed) German carmakers: they are all producers of mainly (or exclusively) BIG cars.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well here's the deal, If GM and Germany knew what they were doing they'd sell to Fiat. That is of course if they knew. Which they don't but they will. Just as soon as those German factories are closed down. But the general doesn't care and Angela just doesn't think about it. It's perfect. Don't you see?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fiat should go after Volvo, if they couldn't get Opel or Saab, imo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      everyone wants the money now, the job now, the german election seat now.
      Meanwhile, the company bleeds 5 million € a day.
      Fiat's plan is the only one that looks to the future, and of course nobody is interested.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think GM is screwing around Magna. In corporate terms "poison pilling the competition". From what I read lately Magna wanted freedom to produce what would sell. GM wants to keep Opel in the corporate fold so to speak and the current Opel/GM management is trying to keep Opel as GM as possible.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Magna stuff is such an obvious joke that my bet is that GM's hidden agenda it to make Opel go under for some reason or other....
      • 5 Years Ago
      i guess russian will be very happy to put their hand on all that technology, from 0 to state-of-the-art in 3 months.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Fiat does get Opel, would they bring it over to the U.S.? It would definitely give more options to play with over here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fiat Group is the best place for Opel/Vauxhall, it's a shame they have lost Saab to Koenigsegg. Saab would do better in Fiat's hands, Koenigsegg don't know what to do with it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I doubt very much you can say that the German government and unions were against the Fiat deal because of jobs. Even in terms of mere promises and smoke, the Magna deal exceeded Fiat's deal almost as soon as Magna was selected (which was pretty quick). Even more important than promises is the number of REAL job losses. Magna have never made cars on any real scale and lack the industrial synergies (all of them) that Fiat offers. The Magna plan relies heavily on the Russian market which has nosedived in a big way. Even in Russia, Fiat models were produced as early as the 1970s (in Togliattigrad) and Lada is still making cars with Fiat to this day. If this were about jobs the Magna deal would have been brushed aside immediately, as the only possible outcome with Magna is bankruptcy. In other words we're talking about many more job losses (all jobs, in fact) than Magna are admitting to.
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