When General Motors wanted to sell Opel


In one of the most difficult moments of its history, Opel had launched the Badge, “the best car we have ever done” – they said

Year 2009. General Motors was in the process of restructuring after attending the Government of the united States to the rescue of the ill-fated manufacturer. Several consecutive years of bad decisions put GM on the brink of bankruptcy. Opel was part of the empire of General Motors since 1929.

Fiat came close to stay with Opel, but did not come to an agreement

Uncle Sam promised to help, but put several conditions. General Motors was, amongst many other things, focus on the brands that are most lucrative, which were basically Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Chevrolet. The future of Saturn, Pontiac, Saab, Opel, Vauxhall and Hummer remained in the air.

The european division of Opel was being a headache for the leaders, settled in Detroit. In all that was of TWENTY-first Century had not made even a dollar of benefit in the old continent. The errors of management of GM is not due solely to north America, in Europe also had a few problems. Opel had-and still have – a problem of excess capacity for what sells.


The Opel then had things such as a cool the Meriva OPC, a compact mpv with 180 HP and tuning very “racing”

In spring emerge the first rumors about an agreement in principle between Magna Steyr and General Motors, the manufacturer of components would be done with the control of Opel and Vauxhall, even though the americans continue to be a complete important actions.

At that time, the Magna was manufacturing custom made several models for other manufacturers-as now-see the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the Saab 9-3 Convertible or the BMW X3. did Not have all the money necessary, but they trust to get the job done with own resources and the intervention of european states with jobs at risk.

Another offer came for a part of the investor group belgian RHJ, that he also wanted to get a majority stake in time buy the manufacturer as a whole. Offered 275 million euros (then $ 388 million to the change) to take over 50.1% of the shares, the right to have the most.


Headquarters of General Motors in Detroit

there was Also an offer of BAIC (China)

RHJ planned to 7,000 layoffs, the closure of the factory in Antwerp (Belgium) and to reduce the production in the four German plants, without getting to close. The offer of Magna would be more painful in terms of layoffs, more than 10,000 employees. The guys of Figueruelas were offered a plan of 1,700 layoffs on the part of Magna, to 1,300 by RHJ. Subsequently offered a cut of only 900 jobs.

we was dizzy with various information and rumors, until General Motors took the bull by the horns and announced at the end of the year that you finally stayed with their european brands and not sell them to anyone. Saab yes he ended up in foreign hands, the episode has not ended at all well. Thankfully, with Opel it was not the same.

In the united States ceased to exist the historic brand Pontiac (that reached the top3 of the country in its good years) and the more modest Saturn. Hummer ended up disappearing also. General Motors needed billions of dollars from the Treasury to consolidate its business and going to be cost-effective. Part of that money has been lost, but dropping it would have been a total cataclysm.


The new Opel Astra is one of the architects of the recovery of General Motors in Europe

General Motors ended up achieving financial muscle to be able to support their division deficit, which had to undergo a profound revision in the long term had the sense to keep it. In 2011, we reached an agreement of collaboration a very important PSA, for which both manufacturers would have synergies. Part of that agreement is still in force today.

A factory was closed in Bochum (Germany)

In 2016, it was estimated that it was going to get the first annual benefit, but there came another problem, the “Brexit”. The devaluation of the pound sterling and the uncertainty caused by the vote resulted in about $ 300 million in losses, although estimated 400 million initially. General Motors lost in Europe 257 million, so that, without “Brexit”, Opel would have been given benefits by the end.

early in the year, General Motors estimated that Opel would remain in losses until 2018, as it has also been calculated that this year there will be losses attributable to the “Brexit”. Since 2000, General Motors has lost 15,000 million dollars in the european market. After finishing the experiment of Chevrolet, will be all over the patience of the leaders of Detroit?