• Nov 12th 2009 at 11:28AM
  • 18
General Motors' bouleversement on the sale of its Opel brand has caused the European head of Opel vacate his office, the head of Opel labor to gulp "a bottle of wine" to get over the shock, the German head of state to request "GM to present a reliable plan for Opel quickly," and Germany's economic minister to prod GM to pay back the rest of the €1.5 billion ($2.25B U.S.) bridge loan.

GM's response has been for CEO Fritz Henderson to Germany on an "Opel charm tour," to pay back a portion of the borrowed fund and promise the remaining €600 million by the end of the month, and to declare that it will only need €3.5 billion ($4.5B U.S.) to restructure Opel. GM crows that the amount is "significantly lower than all bids submitted as part of the investor solicitation" and how, in fact, it's less than the €4.5 billion the German government pledged to give Magna in aid (much less Magna's anticipated restructuring costs).

The gap in this scenario: Where did GM get that number? It was rumored that Belgian investment bank RHJ was only looking to hold on to Opel for a turnaround sale to GM, which would seem to indicate they weren't going to spend a ton of money on restructuring, and even its final bid was more than €3.5 billion. Moody's predicts GM will actually need €5.8 billion ($8.5B USD) to turn Opel fully around. Nevertheless, some see this as a good thing. For us, the only conclusion we can come to is the same one we've been held at for six months: a lot of questions still need answering.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req'd | Source Image: Warner Bros.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm trying not to make a nuisance of myself in the library looking at that picture.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Merkel needs to get out from under her high horse and realize that GM will be exporting Opels to the US as Buicks, which Magna wouldn't. So in the long run, Opel stands to make out better under GM than under Magna.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Where did GM get that number?" The same place GM get's all of it's marching orders now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Build them here & export to Germany!!!!!!!!
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best autoblog pic of 2009.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We have become to jaded at the word billion..
      It should say 600 million by the end of the month not 600 Billion.
      The scary part of it is that saying billion no longer has a wow factor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe the use cash from Buick China and Chevrolet Brazil, where people are buying trashes like Agile and Celta paying for Commodores and Insignias for them... I bet this way GM can solve all its problems with Germany.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a muddle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't even care about the story.
      I just love the photo.
      It is freaking epic.
      I can't stop laughing....my eyes are watering...I just snorted. damn
      • 5 Years Ago
      That picture reminds me. Tomorrow is Friday the 13th.

      Does Autoblog have Jason like Engadget?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best. Picture. Ever.
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