Geneva update – Opel looking increasingly screwed

Whilst Saab are in a court protected reconstruction phase, they’re still largely dependent on GM Europe, which is a pity because GM Europe are starting to look shakier than Saab.
Opel have newer models and more exposure, but it seems that like the GM’s US structure, they might be about to collapse under their own weight. Maybe that’s a little too simplistic, actually. It seems they might be about to collapse under their own weight plus the weight of GM’s US operations that they’ve had to carry for such a long time.
GM said a few days ago that they were willing to sell a minority stake in Opel. Now, just a few days later, they’re saying that all options are on the table due to the dire straits Opel are facing right now.

“We have to be prepared to consider all options, nothing is off of the table. We have to be open to legitimate interest whether that is majority, minority or sharing,” Henderson said at the Geneva auto show.
GM Europe, which includes Opel and its UK sister brand Vauxhall, lost $1.6 billion last year and needs 3.3 billion euros ($4.16 billion) in loans from European governments to fund a liquidity gap in the coming months. It cannot count on help from its U.S. parent, General Motors, which lost nearly $31 billion in 2008.
GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster said: “Our balance sheet is weak and we have no reserves. This crisis is too deep to weather on our own.”

“We have no reserves” said Carl-Peter Forster.
GM Europe made money in 2006, 2007 and the first half of 2008. So why doesn’t it have any reserves?
Watch the last 30 seconds or so of this video to find out:

$100billion into supporting GM’s social obligations, like health care, pensions, etc. Unbelievable.
Now, i’m not really that fussed with what happens to GM in the US or in Europe. As a human being, I hope their people can keep their jobs but as a car guy, I couldn’t give a rat’s tossbag (thankyou, Malcolm Blight) as none of their products interest me in the slightest.
As a pragmatist, though, I hope they can get the help they need so that Saab have time to do what they need to do.
I won’t pretend to know the potential consequences, but a GM bankruptcy or liquidation must be a perilous situation for Saab.

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