• Nov 6, 2009
German magazine Der Spiegel is reporting this morning that Opel President Carl-Peter Forster has resigned from General Motors following the board's decision to kill the sale of a majority stake to Magna International. Apparently, Forster was disgusted at the way that GM officials handled the whole process. Over the past several months, GM went back-and-forth, first agreeing to sell to Magna, then opting for another bid before returning to Magna, only to finally kill the deal altogether and keep the brand for itself.

A statement issued by GM Europe today declines comment on the whole matter, dismissing speculation about any personnel changes. The statement as translated by Google appears after the jump.

[Source: Der Spiegel via Autocar]

PRESS RELEASE:

Rüsselsheim. Around the leading bodies of Adam Opel GmbH, such as the board, there are currently a number of personnel speculation. Adam Opel GmbH can currently take no position on such speculation.

Even speculation about the role of Managing Director of Adam Opel GmbH or personal details in the management of Adam Opel GmbH, we can not comment at the moment.

After the vote of the GM Board of Directors, to retain Opel, will now begin discussions with all stakeholders. These will take place in the coming days. Adam Opel GmbH will refer in due course, together with General Motors' position.


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  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed! GM should keep Opel and all the technology invested in the brand, which is responisble for the well-engineered Opel Insignia (Epsilon platform) which forms the basis for the Chevy Malibu, Buick LaCrosse, and soon-to-be Buick Regal, Chevy Impala, and Cadillac XTS. Why do you think Fiat put in a bid for Opel? Fiat wanted access to the Epsilon platform and all its technology. It's that good!

      The blame for this messy affiar should be attributed to Chancellor Merkel and the government of Germany. They wanted to preserve the majority of jobs at Opel's production facilities in Germany so they pressured GM to sell Opel and 80 years of its valuable technology and patents to Magna and the Russians. No way!

      I applaud GM for standing up to the government and keeping its rightful ownership of Opel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The commenters giving thumbs up to GM really put GM supporters in a bad light.
      This company(GM) has no scruples. They are completely and totally unethical.
      Germany was asked to bail out Opel so they have every right to set the conditions and that is what they did, just as USA and Canada did here.
      GM will get its payback in time unfortunately for th workers. I can guarantee that regular Germans who make up a large percentage of Opel purchasers will look to alternatives in the future and who can blame them.
      GM is all that is wrong with business these days...unethical and completely mismanaged. Kudos to Germany if they kick GM to the curb...
        • 5 Years Ago
        imoore: pulling out of Europes largest and most influential auto market is stupid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ummmm.... i think GM actually its a fact that GM ain't the one whose unethical in here. all they are doing is making the right decision in keeping what they developed in europe of 80 years. the angela Merkel and the german gov't is whats up. so far with the force sale of opel to magna and Sberbank was destined to screw the factory workers in Belgium, spain, and the UK out of a job.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not once in all this kerfuffle has anyone mentioned the SAME over capacity problem that GM and Chrysler's forced bankruptcies have addressed in the North American market! Europe has too many companies producing too many cars at too much cost. Until the Germans, and others, are willing to face that reality, instead of subsidizing home grown industry's, nothing will change. Maybe the Germans now know how it feel's to have a foreign owned corporation make decisions that negatively impacts their economy. We had a good feed of that under the Daimler/Chrysler 'marriage'. At least GM didn't 'strip and flip' Opel like Daimler did to Chrysler. Suck it Up Opel/Germany.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM needs to integrate Opel platforms with the American platforms more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kudos to GM for having the backbone to stand up to these corrupt political flacks (esp. Merkel) in the German government.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Reflects the incredibly inept decision-making process of GM's management. And it is handling how much of US taxpayers' money?
      • 5 Years Ago
      perfect fail by GM. They would have lost nearly NOTHING by selling Opel (Chevrolet has a good reputation in Europe as GM's second brand that sells cars in europe, they wouldn't have lost any patents because the deal included "further cooperation" between Opel and GM, and they would still have a big stake in the brand) but uses TAXPAYER'S MONEY to restore the brand. And at next they cut the double amount of workers that would have been cut if Magna would have bought it. I don't think GM has done good with that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        taxpayers money wasn't involved in the opel deal alone. it is involved in the whole restructuring of GM. opel is still part of GM and so now they can use the money to fix it. just be worried that they will pay back the loans and not how they use it. and continue buying a a toyota, nissan, or honda, or whatever you are driving if you drive. at least those companies are sound business wise for the time being.....with their mounting recalls.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chevrolet has a good reputation in Europe? Currently, all they sell is rebadged Daewoos that had been on sale there prior to Chevrolet's arrival. They have nowhere near the reputation Opel/Vauxhall has. Sure, both those companies were percieved to have crappy vehicles up until a few years ago but they're European. Europeans are extremely loyal to European brands. That's why most of the brands from Japan and Korea are having a much harder time gaining credibility in Europe than in the US or Canada. GM has much better chance expanding it's share of the market with a company based in Germany rather than a company based in Detroit, Tokyo, or Seoul.

        Also, you do realise that most of GM's engineering expertise comes from it's Opel division. Platforms, Ecotec engines, etc.

        • 5 Years Ago
        The european version of cfc was a great sucess for the rebadged daewoos (and yes i know that opel is important for gm's development but the contract with magna included furrther platform sharing and working togerther on new technologies).
        But keeping opel was a better idea than offering buick to europe^^
      • 5 Years Ago
      This as turned into quite the sordid affair. GM is #$%ing up from all quarters. I don't blame this guy. From what I've from this episode so far, not only does GM management stink but I wonder if they have any scruples at all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM shouldn't be buying anything until U.S. and Canadian taxpayers are repaid in full.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They are retaining Opel,not buying it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM Europe was protected from the GM bankrupcy because it was placed in a trust financed by the German government. If it had not been, then GM would have had to make further cuts and the US government would end up spending more to keep GM afloat...

        For all intents and purposes, post-bankruptcy GM is buying GM Europe from the German trust with funds provided by the US taxpayers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i dont even know what to say to this, I agree on GM would have not lost much by sellin the brand, and as for the job keepin thing, its doesnt matter in the end who owns what company, the company is there to make money, so the people who were gonna get cut will get cut.. either way..

      • 5 Years Ago
      So the German government is upset with GM's decision? Good. They made the deal with the devil (the unions), so Merkel & company should have to deal with the fallout. There was really no need for GM to unload Opel anyway.

      As for Forster resigning, he was a coward anyway. He probably spent so much time being knuckled down by the unions, he just didn't have the backbone to stand up to them when the time comes to cut jobs and say "Well, that's life, deal with it." Be a man, Forster and grow a pair. You can't run a company and run and hide when life gets rough. Good riddance to you.

      Do you think the Russian government is losing sleep about this? Nope. Listening to a commentary on the Voice of Russia World service on shortwave last night, the Kremlin's attitude on the Opel situation was like no big deal. Life goes on. After all, they didn't make campaign promises like Angela Merkel and the German govermnent did, so the Russians lost nothing. They have bigger problems, like the Renault/Lada mess. Don't be surprised if REnault pulls out, leaving Putin holding the bag.

      Merkel's biggest concern right now is the Porsche mess. I'm hearing that the EU is planning an investigation into what looks like possible fraud by Porsche execs that lead the company into its financial meltdown, and why the German government didn't look into the matter (unless someone was paid under the table to look the other way).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good riddance.

      This joker wasn't "disgusted" at the way the German government tried to strongarm GM into selling Opel, which they've owned for 80 years, to Magna in order to preserve jobs exclusively in Germany at the expense of workers elsewhere in the EU, and hand a sizeable chunk of GM's patent portfolio over to the Russians.

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