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by George Skentzos

The German government may send a negotiation team to the US to discuss the fate of Opel should its parent company GM file for bankruptcy, with the aim of placing Opel under the care of a government-appointed trustee if necessary.

As a precondition of this arrangement, the German government has made finding offers by investors a precondition for a trustee arrangement with two potential partners emerging in Fiat S.p.A. and Magna International, North America’s largest auto-parts supplier.

Fiat is after a three-way merger with Chrysler and GM’s European operations while Magna would take over Opel jointly with Russian carmaker GAZ and Russia’s top lender, state-run Sberbank, according to German media reports.

This plan would allow a trustee to protect Opel assets from GM creditors while a consortium of banks could provide Opel with bridge financing until it is taken over by another investor.

Otherwise the brand would no doubt follow GM into bankruptcy if the competing business plans for the carmaker from Fiat and Magna are both unsuitable.

Reports indicate the US government is hesitant to adhere to this arrangement, with GM ultimately deciding which investor would get Opel.

The company has said the German government will play a big role with Opel’s four plants in Germany employing 25,000 people – about half of GM’s European work force.




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