If you tried telling us even as recently as a year ago that General Motors would be forced to sell its European assets and that a partnership between a Canadian parts supplier and a Russian bank would step up to take the stake, we'd have probably raised a few eyebrows. But such is the state of the General and the industry at large, with Magna and Sberbank looking poised to take a big chunk of Opel of GM's hands. The question everyone is asking, however, is what the Russian state bank wants with the German automaker.
According to emerging reports, the Russian financial institution could be preparing to pass on its share of the Opel shares to Russian automaker Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (GAZ). It's no great secret that the auto industry in Russia has failed to advance at the same rate as the rest of the world, and both the Russian federal government and Russian automakers like GAZ are keen to take their products into the, err... present. Taking advantage of Opel's technologies could be the winning ticket. In addition to the Opel stake, the deal also reportedly includes the purchase of GM's assembly plant in St. Petersburg for a princely $92 million.

[Source: Automotive News Europe – Sub. Req.]

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