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Author Topic: GM - Opel  (Read 1477 times)
Koen
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« on: 5 November 2009, 21:49:35 »
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This story is a long one...

In Antwerp - Belgium there's a big Opel plant.

Opel is a General Motors brand.

GM has plants in the US, UK, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Poland.

Belgium is small.

The GM plant is Antwerp is known to deliver high-quality products.

For the last 2 years there have been talks about closing Antwerp down.

Then there was hope, GM would sell Opel.

Big fights started, politically, union, protests, meetings and more...

German and Belgian governments promised money to help keeming the plants open...

Peple were flying around the world to promote their factories...

There were several candidates and finally a couple of weeks ago all parties agreed to sell to a Canadian firm with help of a Russian bank http://www.magna.com/magna/en/

Last week the contract should've been signed but....at the end GM withdraws and decides to keep Opel and to continue with its plans....to close several plants...


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2009:

(March 3, 2009)

Opel reveals plan for €3.3 billion bailout

Quote
Opel could be turned into a self-sufficient European company – but only with €6.3 billion in state aid, the company announced last weekend. Moreover, it warned that even that option would still involve cutting costs by nearly €1 billion.



(July 28, 2009)
Government gives up on Opel Antwerp
“No false hope” as bid favourite plans closure


Quote
Flanders' minister-president Kris Peeters last weekend appeared to abandon hope of a rescue for Opel Antwerp, after Magna, the Austrian-Canadian company seen as the last chance of a solution, revealed plans to close the plant. Magna would shut the factory in March next year if its takeover bid is successful, according to a confidential report leaked to the Austrian business weekly Format.



(July 14, 2009)
New bid for Opel

Quote
The Belgian holding company RHJ International plans to submit an improved offer for Opel this week which would preserve all of its German plants, according to a report in the Flemish daily De Standaard. Under the plan, which at the time of going to press was neither confirmed nor denied, the company would require €3.8 billion in German government guarantees to preserve the plants.
Canadian car parts supplier Magna International is currently leading the pack as a buyer for Opel after signing a preliminary memorandum of understanding with its parent company General Motors last May. But the German government, which agreed to supply €1.5 billion in bridge financing to Opel while a deal was finalised, has said that other options are still on the table.
The Germans have encouraged rival bidders, such as RHJ, China's Beijing Automotive (BAIC) and Italy's Fiat, to return with improved offers, raising the pressure on Magna. Some newspaper sources claim to have seen a document in which BAIC has drafted a plan to use Opel's brand and technology on the Chinese market.
Magna, meanwhile, has pressed ahead with talks on securing a framework deal with General Motors, which last week bounced back from bankruptcy. The head of Magna's European arm told a German newspaper that his company was on track to reach an agreement.
But the Magna bid would burden the German government with €4.4 billion in guarantees against RHJ's €3.8 billion. Magna also plans to close down more plants than RHJ.



(August 25, 2009)
Decision on Opel postponed

Quote
Last week's deadline for a decision on the future of Opel production in Antwerp and in Europe came and went, and still no decision was taken by General Motors. German chancellor Angela Merkel was reported to be losing patience with the American parent company, and as Flanders Today went to press she was calling for a decision this week.
The decision concerns the two takeover bids that remain on the table: one from the Austrian-Canadian parts manufacturer Magna, and one from the Brussels-based investment fund RHJ International. Magna is generally considered the favourite, and it is their bid that has the support of Merkel, thanks to guarantees given over jobs in Germany.
According to reports, not only can GM not decide between the two bidders, it may even be considering holding onto Opel Europe after all. Just where that would leave Opel Antwerp is not clear, though it is a fairly safe bet that cuts would be made. However the two bidders offer little hope for a bright future for Opel Antwerp.



Quote
General Motors decides against selling Opel, but set on Opel Antwerp closure

On Tuesday night the GM management board decided against selling its European subsidiary, Opel, to the Canadian car component company, Magna. GM intends to keep Opel, but wanst to cut a third of its costs and ten thousand jobs in the process. The detailed restructuring plan will be submitted to the governments of the European countries with GM plants.

GM's decision not to sell Opel is bad news for Opel Antwerp. Previous GM restructuring plans saw the Antwerp plant as superfluous. In a teleconference GM board member John Smith said that their restructuring plan was not much different to that of takeover contender Magna. He confirmed that Magna also intended to close the Antwerp plant, but to keep the German plants in Bochum and Eisenach operational provided interventions were in place.

Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters (CD&V) cut his holiday short to deliberate with the GM board and trade unions. He demands immedediate clarity on the restructuring plan. The response in Flanders has been more matter-of-fact than in Germany. Trade union leaders, Opel employees and the minister-presidents of the federal states of Hessen, Noordrijn-Westfalen and Rheinland-Paltz reacted with indignation. Federal chancellor Andrea Merkel refuses to accept GM's decision. She brought into action a rescue plan for Opel during the elections, and explicitly opted for a takeover by Magna. She now claims repayment of the 1.5 billion Euros in bridging finance granted to Opel.

Rudi Kennes, Antwerp union leader (ABVV) and vice-chairman of the European works council, also realises the deal is off. He had hoped that Magna would give Opel Antwerp the opportunity to build new models. Sadly this will no longer be possible. Staff at the Antwerp plant seem drained after living in the shadow of uncertainty for five years.



When the plants shuts down 2.231 people will loose their jobs and how many in companies around Antwerp that deliver parts?

In Europe some 10.000 people will loose their job, after Antwerp there will also be closure in Germany's Bochum and Eisenach

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the complete story is one of the little guys taking the heat for the failure of the big bosses....who's to blame when a company like GM goes bankrupt? the guy who puts the door on an Opel Corsa?

Yes, I'm really getting pi**ed at how this goes on, there are people working in those factories who've been unsure of their job for a long time now....how do they feel you think?

Damn, always the wrong ones get punished!

ps: http://www.janssenpharmaceutica.be : yesterday announced that 558 people will have to go from a total of 4079.  Remember, Belgium is a small country so 1 firm throwing out 558 people is BIG news...not only for 558 people tripled to +1500 counting women and children...
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Rattler
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« Reply #1 on: 6 November 2009, 07:27:50 »
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The problem is a political, as so often in the EU:

Germany, Belgium and the UK were exercising their political influence to save those places (whcih do not make sense from a production POV, see below) during a time where they could as GM was weak and againts the ropes.

Now that this is not the case anymore (due partially to the money injected by those governments, Germany injected 1.500 Millions of Euros) the producitivity is the decisive factor again:

In Spain, the same car as in Bochum gets produced, with one significant difference: Here it´s completion takes 19 hours, in Bochum 31...

Rattler
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"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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