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Opel's Ampera -- the European rebadge of the Chevrolet Volt
A major piece of GM's international platform is leaving the company

Just weeks ago, General Motor's European subsidiary Opel was all grins with plans to unveil its Chevy Volt-look-alike, the Ampera.  However, in the weeks since GM has been forced to cut 47,000 jobs and go before the federal government pleading for more money.  With the hard economic reality settling in, GM has announced that Opel will no longer be part of GM.

While many have speculated that Saab or Hummer would be the first brand or subsidiary on the chopping block, it turned out to be Opel.  GM is hoping that Europe will pay it to give Opel independence.  As part of the deal, GM is demanding the German government and other countries in Europe with Opel plants to give it $4B USD to bail out Opel, says GM Europe CEO Carl-Peter Forster.

Mr. Forster states, "We are in need of capital that we hope to get with the help of the public sector of about 3.3 billion euros.  With this aid, we believe that we can lead this company to a very profitable future."

On Monday, GM will formally present its plan to the German government.  The split will mean that Opel will be tasked with managing its own expenses and making its own decisions.  However, GM retains a major stake in Opel -- between 25 and 50 percent -- and the companies will likely work together closely.  Describes Mr. Forster, "Opel remains an integral and important part of GM's global operations and will continue as such in the future."

Klaus Franz, a representative of Opel's labor organization, states, "Today we have received confirmation that after 80 years owning this company, General Motors is willing to give up some shares in Opel."

Mr. Franz is concerned that the move may result in Opel plants closing down.  GM has not announced officially whether this will happen, but has said it will try to avoid it if possible.  Mr. Forster continued, "No decisions to close plants or cut jobs have been made. We are trying to prevent that.  But we do have cut costs substantially, by about $1.2 billion."

Over half of GM's cars are currently sold outside of North America.  However, sales in Europe and elsewhere have fallen nearly as much as American sales, so GM is starting to exit these markets, as evidenced by the spinoff of Opel and proposed sale of Saab. 

In total GM's European subsidiaries, Saab, Opel and Vauxhall (UK) employ over 55,000 Europeans.  With a net loss of $9.6B USD in Q4 2008 and $30.9B USD for the year, GM is fast finding that it simply cannot afford to maintain its European businesses.

Even with the move, GM is still teetering on the brink of financial ruin, with cash having fallen to $14B USD after burning through $6.2B USD in Q4 2008.  GM has says it needs between $11B USD and $14B USD in cash at all times to stay in business.  However, even if the U.S. government lends GM a helping hand to fix its cash deficiency, serious questions about its long term prospects remain, given that it is looking to sell or part with two of three European brands and cut back on its overseas sales.

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wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 2:07:21 PM , Rating: 5
Nice inflamatory title. 'Demands?' It's not as if they're thretening to do Something Bad if it doesn't happen and they'd be selling a big chunk of the company which is more likely to be appealing in socialist Europe than in the US where people seem to want companies to fail as if they're watching a reality TV series.

RE: wow, title
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 3:02:01 PM , Rating: 4
Europe isn't that socialist as you think... The seperate countries are already busy trying to protect their national industries like for instance France. So much for the europian union. We must give aid(in valuta form) for to lesser quality industries in for instance Spain and Italy while other countries deliver the same products but of superiour quality and are even forced to produce less. I am for a socialist free market, that is a free market with ethics and with government control to prevent the excesses but not to regulate the market during normal operation. I am not for protecting internal industries as is happening in the EU. And i am not for greedy governments blinded by greed as is part of my own government.

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2009 3:07:36 PM , Rating: 1
. I am for a socialist free market

That is an oxymoron. It's like someone saying they are for a Satanic Catholic mass.

You can't have socialism and freedom in any market.

RE: wow, title
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 3:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you can. You can be social by being ethical. That is all it needs. Having a free market does not mean you have to lie, robb and cheat someone to get every penny from them.

As you can have a satanic catholic church. Cause that is what the catholic church is. Lies to control. As what the church says their satan does.

RE: wow, title
By taber on 3/1/2009 3:20:48 PM , Rating: 1
You think the government can be ethical?

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: wow, title
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 3:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
Can you not just go back to Russia, meet with your communist friends and argue with them. Never have i met such a person who needs to use the internet to blow off steam this much. Go play some 1st person online game.

You have to understand that Socialist hate progress.

Click on my name and read all my posts. If you still dare to write this kind of nonsense about me i really think you should have a talk with dr Phil. Then again i know you will write and i know dr Phil is to much for you to understand.

I honor those who get rich by doing honest hard work as they are fine examples of life. But i despise those that do anything to get a little more richer. Maybe you are one of those ? You must be a drug dealer ?

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: wow, title
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 4:06:58 PM , Rating: 1
Now suddenly you honor successful people. When you just equated the free market with unethical acts like this.

Would you be so kind to quote the text for me ?

Cause all i was and am thinking about is the current financial crisis, enron, GM needing money... I mean the current situation is just fine and dandy isn't it. For example, There used to be banks who refused to offer subprime loans(mortgages) that people could not afford. These banks are gone because the bigger banks did offer subprime loans making more virtual money. And now those banks or gone too. Banks with ethics who refused subprime loans where bought up by the same banks who did offer subprime loans. In the end some people do need someone to tell them what's best for them.

Your implied meaning was clear. Now don't insult my intelligence by reversing your position and playing the happy go lucky socialist. It does not become you.

I am telling you what's best for you... Do some background research, have some tea and a hot sloppy biscuit.

RE: wow, title
By TSS on 3/1/2009 7:10:23 PM , Rating: 2
Oh so you think the american capitalistic "free" market is actually free?

Completly leaving the market alone would result in greed (aka the most profit) regulating it. And if it's regulated, it's not free.

I'm not saying socialism is the way to go. But i'm not saying kapitalism is the best thing since sliced bread either. There has got to be a compromise that's much better than both.

Just need to find it first.

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2009 7:35:54 PM , Rating: 1
There is no magical economic system that hasn't already been tried at one point or another.

We know what works and what doesn't. People are acting like just because we have a recession every ten+ years, that means capitalism doesn't work. Well that's just stupid. How quickly we forget the prosperity enjoyed in between, and in most cases, during recessions.

I never said we had a completely free market. But claiming there is a 'free socialist' one is what I took issue with.

RE: wow, title
By WTFiSJuiCE on 3/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: wow, title
By jRaskell on 3/2/2009 12:31:53 PM , Rating: 1
and we haven't been completely corrupted yet.

That's debatable.

RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 4:07:19 PM , Rating: 1
I should say, PURE free market nuts.

RE: wow, title
By Tsuwamono on 3/1/2009 5:28:00 PM , Rating: 1
Well Canada is the same way.. We are a socialist Free market. Its a free market but there are some things that we control to protect the public... like the BANKS(hint hint obama... HINT HINT). We don't allow our banks to over extend themselves like they did in the USA. They are still privately owned but we dont just let joe blow take is couple million and start lending to people.

Other then the banks being restricted some what as to who they can lend to(aka people who cant pay it back). the only other thing thats really Socialist is that we have free health care.

We will have stock markets and free market and competition, we just don't allow things that could topple our economy...(hint hint Obama)

RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 5:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
The Bank of Canada is a great model. Kind of funny since Canada was closely tied to Great Britain for a long time and yet the central bank isn't modeled after the Bank of England like the Fed loosely is.

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2009 5:58:17 PM , Rating: 3
Our banks didn't overextend themselves. They were highly encouraged and practically forced to by our government.

You know what, maybe Canada does do socialism right. And that's great. But America does NOT.

RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 6:28:14 PM , Rating: 2
Now let's not be so one-sided. Banks weren't complaining when they were making money hand over fist after being 'forced' to do these things were they?

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/2009 6:52:29 PM , Rating: 4
Banks weren't complaining when they were making money hand over fist after being 'forced' to do these things were they?

That's what businesses are supposed to do. Make a profit.

So let me understand your thinking on this. The government sticks it's nose where it doesn't belong and tells businesses what to do and how to do it. All in the name of some feel good goal of 'community equality and reinvestment' or some such crap. But they also make it profitable to do so. Then when the whole thing blows up in our faces, we're supposed to blame the banks ?

That's what I don't get. Obama and the Democrats have done such a good job convincing us that it was all the evil banks fault, that I don't see anybody asking why did the government get involved to begin with. It's a big smoke screen to cover Freddie and Fannies ass, that's what it is.

Now let's not be so one-sided.

I'm perfectly willing to admit both sides had fault in this. But the whole " blame the banks " movement is a bunch of political pandering and ass covering. And I absolutely HATE people using a bad situation as a means of pushing a political agenda.

RE: wow, title
By Targon on 3/2/2009 12:00:51 AM , Rating: 4
There are two ways to look at the situation in the USA:

1: The government should just GIVE the money to the companies about to collapse, with no strings attached. It would be a bailout, but all things considered, the money would go away as the companies go bankrupt anyway, wasting a lot of taxpayer money in the process.

2: The government becomes an investor, just like if any private company were to provide the money needed to survive. The government then keeps a share until the company recovers and buys back shares from the government.

Now, if you lost your job and came to me asking for financial help, I would be willing to help you, but if I find you buying flat panel TVs and going out to dinner just to enjoy yourself(not for business meetings or to entertain a client), I would demand my money back since you obviously did not need my help when you are getting luxury items.

At this point, who is at fault for the problems really takes a back seat to confidence in how these companies will get back on track. If the banks are wasting money on stupid things after getting bailed out, they deserve to be taken to task the same way anyone else would.

There is nothing wrong with successful businesses owning private jets and having the corporate execs use them. The problem is when companies that have failed are acting like they have not. The moment the government has to bail out a company, that company has failed. Any and all executives working for that failed company have CLEARLY done a bad job, and deserve NO bonuses, or special perks.

So, companies that have been bailed out need to get their act together, pay back the government, and THEN they will be free to waste money again. Until that happens, workers at these companies should not be getting ANY bonuses. It may not be the fault of the workers, but just having a job, vs. having the company shut down should make workers thankful that they have a job rather than being unemployed.

So, government bails out a company, and has the right to a certain level of control or oversight. Government does not automatically get the right to control ANY company that has not accepted bailout money. Note that Ford has not taken any bailout money at this point, so deserves some credit at this point.

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/2009 7:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
So, government bails out a company, and has the right to a certain level of control or oversight

That is federalization and totally unconstitutional. And I adamantly appose it no matter what the results or drawbacks.

We CANNOT have the federal government of this country having controlling interests in our companies.

RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/2/2009 5:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
No one forced banks (any of the big ones,) investment banks (Lehman, Bear Stearns) and other companies (AIG) to leverage 20x-30x-40x with 'financial WMDs' like CDS and MBS. The loans themselves wouldn't have caused such a severe problem, they were called 'sub-prime' for a reason and priced in line with that with higher rates and profits. While making the loans in the first place may have been pushed on the banks they went way over the edge with other related instruments. That was my point.

RE: wow, title
By TheSpaniard on 3/1/2009 9:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
actually.... there were several lawsuits that stated just that. Citibank did not want the risk and was to told they had no choice

RE: wow, title
By wordsworm on 3/2/2009 8:45:47 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, socialism sucks. It's much better to live in a culture that prefers to keep kids begging on the streets to social welfare. Makes it easier to molest children, burn out their eyes so they make better beggars, throw the girls into prostitution. Socialism helps prevent this kind of tragedy, even if it isn't perfect. Kids, instead of being thrown into the streets to beg - like I see in traffic whenever I'm on the streets of Jakarta - go to publicly funded schools. Instead of amputees being forced to beg, they get enough money to live honorable lives.

The entire culture is empowered by socialism - from the poor right on up to the rich.

America has finally elected a truly socialist president. Hopefully he can turn the country around and bring greater stability to the world rather than bombs, as was the case with the previous president.

RE: wow, title
By Reclaimer77 on 3/2/2009 9:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
The entire culture is empowered by socialism

Did you just use socialism and empowered in the same sentence?

What a fool you are.

RE: wow, title
By wordsworm on 3/2/2009 11:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
You are the one who does not understand what it is or what the negative effects are on a culture which does not get empowered by socialism. Police, justice, and education are the three primary areas which need to be controlled by the government. Taking away these socialist constructs would result in a culture you would not care to live in.

RE: wow, title
By derwin on 3/2/2009 2:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I will admit that Indonesia's economy as a whole is not great, but you cannot blame that on capitalism...
Indonesia suffers from geo-politics and historical maladies far worse than it suffers from any effects of deregulated capitalsm.
If your economy cannot afford to bear the weight of socialism, then what is the use in advocating for it?

But I must ask, where is our culture prefering to keep kids begging on the streets? Isn't that a direct equivalent to social welfare? Keep people begging?

I don't really know what sort of latent pedophiliea you are trying to get across here, but I would imagine the rates of child prostitution in the US are one of the lowest rates in the world.

I think you miss the point, and I am not going to try and explain the benefits of the free market, because if you have not had to work for yourself, if you have not had to earn your own living, then you probably could not understand. (Now don't you all go crazy on me here, I am not saying such conditions "reveal the glory" of the free market or anything, but it certainly is a hard thing to fathom economic motivation if you never needed any).

RE: wow, title
By wordsworm on 3/2/2009 11:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
"If your economy cannot afford to bear the weight of socialism, then what is the use in advocating for it?"

Well laid out socialist agendas have the ability to empower everyone. So, for instance, with education we can see a clear demonstration of this.

If the poor do not have money, then they cannot afford education. So, the children of the poor get put in a cycle from which it is all but impossible to escape. Given a government mandated education, as exists in the US & Canada but not in Indonesia or India, the value of all children is increased to the point where they can fulfill duties in society. Medicare is another one which, if universally applied, helps society as a whole. The US has made basic education available to all children, and this increases the value of its culture to the point where, at the very least, for the most part children are not forced into undesirable situations. There are always exceptions, as there are exceptions where poor parents of a non socialist nation may do everything in their power to educate their children. The US is not an entirely capitalistic society. The areas in which it does offer socialist controls are a big part of why children are largely protected from all but the worst extremes - as the exceptions rather than the rule.

When children are not protected with socialist intervention, it's easier to victimize them. This can extend to the handicapped as well. Strict capitalistic societies are not what anyone wants. Anyone who says differently doesn't really understand what socialism is.

RE: wow, title
By Russell on 3/2/2009 5:24:55 AM , Rating: 2
Our health care is NOT free -- we pay for it in taxes. Not all services are covered -- we have to pay for what isn't using either money from our pocket, employer insurance plans, or through personal insurance plans, if we're lucky enough not to get it through our jobs. Canadians in many provinces also have to pay health care premiums every month (yet another tax, but a much less transparent one).

Of course, the person who posted the above comment realizes these things. I'm merely pointing it out because I'm sick and tired of people saying Canadians get free health care.

Don't think I don't appreciate the government-funded basic services though, like hospital visits and life-saving surgeries (well, most of them). We have a decent system. It just isn't free.

RE: wow, title
By GreenEnvt on 3/2/2009 10:34:03 AM , Rating: 2
True, we do pay in taxes, However, one major car accident, heart attack, or other major illness and the amount you've paid into the healthcare system during your lifetime becomes much less then the costs of your hospital trip.

Not everything is covered, but pretty much anything life threatening is. If you have a crooked nose, no, the government won't pay for it, or a skin issue like rosatia.
There are issues like long wait times, but I think it's still better overall.

I certainly wouldn't trade away our health care for another few grand to my salary.

RE: wow, title
By Spuke on 3/2/2009 1:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
I certainly wouldn't trade away our health care for another few grand to my salary.
I'd like to have the choice, then I could shop for my own healthcare. Fortunately, I am satisfied with the provider I have.

RE: wow, title
By Penti on 3/2/2009 7:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
As every american pays like 3000 USD every year to the government-founded healthcare they should afford it collectively. People in other countries pays less or about the same for free health care for all. Americans (US) system is just inefficient not under founded. Including privately founded health care it's about twice as expensive as any other country with free health care (including their own private spending) or take up a two times larger share of GDP.

Of course health care is collectively financed so it doesn't matter much. We don't use plenty of other services we pay for through our taxation. So here in Sweden we would actually pay enough taxes to pay for our own heart disease. The same is true for any private insurance. Though they don't have access to all the insures money like the government more or less has. If you couldn't get out more then you had paid there would be no point.

RE: wow, title
By Penti on 3/2/2009 6:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's called a mixed economy and socialism has nothing to do with it before it was the crown (or other rulers) who owned or gave rights to run businesses today it's neoliberal social democratic parties, Christian democratic parties or old Conservative parties. Ruling through law rather then handing out special permits but still owning some or parts of some businesses for various purposes. As well as running the government at all levels. The trend now is to give tax payer money to private corporations doing the same services as those employed by the government. In the US they had a lot of state involvement before. Both federal and local/state.

RE: wow, title
By roostitup on 3/1/2009 3:39:51 PM , Rating: 4
Americans wanting companies to fail is not a bad thing like you would like to make it sound. Refer to the post ahead of you stating that the free market will work itself out, if they fail a much better company will either buy them out or take their place. Companies failing is not an entertaining thing to Americans, but it is a necessity to improve the market. Don't make stupid comments.

RE: wow, title
By spread on 3/1/2009 6:37:38 PM , Rating: 2

What's GM gonna to do, fold under pressure?

RE: wow, title
By V3ctorPT on 3/2/2009 3:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
I own a Opel car, and I'm glad that it's out of GM... This means I'll have parts, or support from the brand, for more years than GM is going to live...

GM, should be "dismembered", to small companies with their own brand, if the company is too big to stay afloat on it's own, then it should sell all their brands (but GM staying with stock), and let them live.

Small teams work better and are more effective than a large group...

RE: wow, title
By mindless1 on 3/2/2009 12:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
Small teams also have more R&D, manufacturing, lesser buying, contractual negotiation power. The only small automakers which may survive the recession are those with a lot of cash put aside and tailoring to the luxury market. Otherwise splitting up into smaller groups tends to be a search for refuge by enticing individual governments for aide.

Looking for parts or support from Opel won't help them much. Buying another car from them is what they'll need.

RE: wow, title
By V3ctorPT on 3/2/2009 3:39:27 AM , Rating: 1
I own a Opel car, and I'm glad that it's out of GM... This means I'll have parts, or support from the brand, for more years than GM is going to live...

GM, should be "dismembered", to small companies with their own brand, if the company is too big to stay afloat on it's own, then it should sell all their brands (but GM staying with stock), and let them live.

Small teams work better and are more effective than a large group...

RE: wow, title
By V3ctorPT on 3/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: wow, title
By Yojimbo on 3/1/2009 7:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
I agree..the term "demands" doesn't seem to be warranted, but it's really not much worse than you saying "...people seem to want companies to fail...", except for the fact that you put "seem" there. I don't think people want companies to fail, they just don't like the idea of bailouts and the way they are done, for various reasons.

RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 7:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
One difference is I'm not a paid (I assume?) blogger writing short news report articles. But sensationalism 'sells' (I know DT is free but page views undoubtedly get them revenue.) Maybe I shouldn't expect high-tier journalism from such articles.

RE: wow, title
By wvh on 3/1/2009 10:09:34 PM , Rating: 1
It's not about socialism. It's about what will cost least – paying for the unemployed when the company goes bust, or paying to keep the company afloat.

It gets a bit tired of hearing slingshots at "European socialism" while at the heart and origin of all this is extreme capitalism and corporate greed, especially in some of those arrogant American companies that are now receiving shitloads of "socialist" money from the American government.

This whole crisis is a sick joke, really.

RE: wow, title
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 11:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
Read my later replies. I use socialism in a descriptive manner not as a pejorative.

RE: wow, title
By axias41 on 3/2/2009 9:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
Europe socialist?
How much money GM and chrysler already received?
And all the banks saved?

Today US seems more socialist than Europe

By IlllI on 3/1/2009 12:54:35 PM , Rating: 5
jesus. just let them die already

RE: ugh
By WeiWeiSa on 3/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: ugh
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 2:50:27 PM , Rating: 3
I do not understand if they are so big and omnipresent, why they they have a cash flow problem.

RE: ugh
By V3ctorPT on 3/2/2009 3:47:13 AM , Rating: 2
In my country they are "battling" for the #1 in monthly sales, they are good, and lots of people is buying more Opel cars than ever, due to the Opel Astra and the new Insignia.

As I said, I believe that this is better for Opel than for GM, GM will be bankrupt until the end of the year, maybe Opel will last longer.

RE: ugh
By Landiepete on 3/2/2009 11:18:30 AM , Rating: 2
Because GM has robbed Opel blind for decennia.

Peter R.

RE: ugh
By IlllI on 3/1/2009 3:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
i meant GM you numbnuts, which is what most of that article is about (duh)

RE: ugh
By AmazighQ on 3/1/2009 2:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
if your talking about Opel
i would like you to take those words back
its not American its a European based company
a spin off will bring Opel only good
cause then finally the American(GM) way of managing the company will end
and getting the company profitable again.
seriously i don't hear any EU car company asking billion and billion for there governments

but i would like GM to die cause then Opel (Germany) can get a better deal when they go solo

RE: ugh
By Oregonian2 on 3/1/2009 2:46:20 PM , Rating: 3
Don't know about EU car companies asking, but I recall announcements from European countries about monetary help they were giving their domestic car companies. Don't know how they knew about their needs.

RE: ugh
By aegisofrime on 3/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: ugh
By wordsworm on 3/2/2009 8:54:34 AM , Rating: 2
It's English. How's your second language coming? My French is terrible, and my Indonesian is pathetic. His English is better than my French.

Obama's spendapalooza can not end well
By phxfreddy on 3/1/2009 1:22:35 PM , Rating: 5
I know it is painful but we must let the companies die in order that newer technology and more creative solutions be found.

Its called creative destruction and its just how reality "is". It is the "is" in reality.

RE: Obama's spendapalooza can not end well
By retrospooty on 3/1/2009 1:52:10 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly... And its not like all of the jobs just go away if GM goes under. It's too valuable. It will be bought out by some other deep pocketed entity and they will remake it, without all the bloat.

Pouring more money to just be lost in the end it pointless.

RE: Obama's spendapalooza can not end well
By MadMan007 on 3/1/2009 5:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the problem that lots of companies are facing - the capital and credit markets continue to be extremely tight. GM could do Ch 11 restructuring but even if someone wanted to buy them getting the funding to do so at this time is nearly impossible.

That's where the government unfortunately comes in. 'Lender of last resort' in a roundabout way through the Treasury and Fed, the govt doesn't have to worry about returns next quarter or next year or even longer.

By TSS on 3/1/2009 7:22:18 PM , Rating: 1
No because the people are stupid enough to keep voting politicans in place that don't give a damn.

The problem with lending directly from the goverment is the goverment can get in really really deep shit before it's gone "too far" and the country busts. so theirs a huge pool of money to keep lending from. And the goverment's *horrible* at estimating.

Did you know of the assets bought from the bank bailout, the goverment paid about hmmm... 75 billion too much for it? That's a 10% error margin yknow.

Our point isn't in letting them file chapter 11. Our point is in letting them file chapter 7. Liquidation.

Investors will lose money, yes, it's what you call a "bad investment". people will lose their jobs, yes. BUT the factories will get sold *regardless* of how much they ask for it, as it *has* to be liquidated. And somebody strikes a deal, will fire it up again and hire people again. Or they tear it down and build new, cheap appartments (because people can't afford expensive appartments), which proiveds work AND cheap housing when its done.

Economics is a Social Science. Like social networks, everything is connected. So if 1 part gets sick, it has to be made better or cast out, after which it will heal and start anew. Because as long as it is sick, everything connected, which is everything, will slowly get sick as well.

Currently the more tax payer money GM gets the more taxpayers will get sick.

RE: Obama's spendapalooza can not end well
By retrospooty on 3/2/2009 9:01:28 AM , Rating: 2
" Here's the problem that lots of companies are facing - the capital and credit markets continue to be extremely tight. GM could do Ch 11 restructuring but even if someone wanted to buy them getting the funding to do so at this time is nearly impossible. "

I dont think you fully understand chapter 11 based on that comment.

By MadMan007 on 3/2/2009 1:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't mean that Ch 11 and someone buying them are the same thing if that's what you thought. I do see how it could be read that way though.

By phxfreddy on 3/2/2009 6:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
riiiiight. Thanks Barry O. ...we would have never thought of that had it not been repeated it again in the mainstream media endlessly. ( and is STILL not the way to go about solving a problem! )

I don't believe it
By sprockkets on 3/1/2009 4:44:11 PM , Rating: 4
Opel was literally the brand that saved GM. The new Saturn Ion and the new Malibu and everything based on it was designed by Opel, simply because GM couldn't design any car worth buying. And even as of late, they killed the money going into stuff like the CTS-V, meaning they will not be continued after this gen.

Now, they spun them off? GM is dead.

RE: I don't believe it
By Bubbacub on 3/1/2009 5:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
while opel cars are apparently far superior to your standard GM car, i will take your word for that - they are still looked upon as cheap crappy cars here in europe. though the new insignia looks like they are starting to improve from their woeful quality over the last 10 years in europe.

gm needs to die in the same way that british leyland died 30 years ago. from the ashes we have had jaguar and range rover continue (under foreign ownership - but with local management, design and production) - whilst a few other profitable factories have been taken over from their original inept owners by companies like BMW who have managed things much more efficiently (e.g. the old rover plant in oxford now makes the new Mini - and is pretty profitable).

RE: I don't believe it
By PorreKaj on 3/2/2009 2:28:04 AM , Rating: 2
"they are still looked upon as cheap crappy cars here in europe."

Which is a shame. True story that you might pay for much more than you get, but basicly you never go wrong with a German car.
I would hate to see Opel go down because of GM's "lets build big fuel eating cars for our fellow americans who loves those type of cars"*

* Thats the way we look on GM where i come from anyhow.

I mean i would hate that cars like Astra GTC, Insignia and the cute little Corsa to disappear

RE: I don't believe it
By DrMrLordX on 3/1/2009 8:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
What the heck are you talking about? There is no new Saturn Ion. The Ion was replaced by the Opel Astra, which has been a disaster sales-wise. I don't even like the car very much. Weighs too much.

RE: I don't believe it
By WTFiSJuiCE on 3/1/2009 8:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
In all honesty...I actually like the design of the Ampera's front end more so than the Volt's. ._.

How about..
By Snowy on 3/1/2009 1:40:53 PM , Rating: 3
How about instead of giving hundreds of billions of dollars to failing automobile companies, we give hundreds of billions to start-up companies that are,
1)Well managed
2)Have an eye for the future
3)Already producing "cars of the future"

Let the companies that were managed down the john suffer for it, and let's give the money to the small companies that deserve it.

RE: How about..
By IlllI on 3/1/2009 3:21:34 PM , Rating: 4
hence my original statement. just let gm die. its a sinking ship. 'bailout' will only prolong the inevitable

ps. i like your idea

RE: How about..
By PrinceGaz on 3/1/2009 7:53:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree entirely. Evolution in action -- survival of the fittest.

Companies like GM with outdated policies and largely outdated products shouldn't receive support through hard times. Their plants here in Europe should be closed if they can no longer reamin profitable. Their manufacturing plants in the US and A should be closed as well if they are not competitive either. If the company as a whole cannot support itself, it should be game over for it, in the hope a more competitive version might be built from what it left behind.

We know people are buying less new cars and there is a very large number of unsold cars filling enormous car parks near the factories, but that isn't a problem. They should sell those cars, even at a small loss on the original manufacturing cost if necessary, to tide them over until the economy recovers. There will always be a demand for new cars even though that demand may vary wildly. The companies which are well-managed and can survive the downturns will survive; those that were struggling even when the economy in general was good will quite rightly become extinct.

Throwing billions of Euros at failing companies in this downturn is wrong. I know we're throwing a lot more at the banking sector, but that's different because although they caused the problem, they're essential to us getting out of it (and new regulation / nationalisation of them will ensure the same doesn't happen again). We'll come out of the recession much better equipped to face the future if those companies which couldn't weather the storm are allowed to collapse. Those which survived will be in the ideal position to make the most of it afterwards, and do so much better than any company which was kept aflot with government loans which will cripple its finances for years ahead.

IF you want to have a fun read :
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 3:22:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's a bit old...
It is sad but true. That's how social we are :)

We move at the cost of 270 million dollars a year just because of some absurd eu law that states that there has to be meetings held in strasbourg. Talking about wasting money.

Once a month on a Friday night, a convoy of 15 trucks containing 4,000 metallic trunks and cupboards filled with documents from the Parliament's headquarters in Brussels makes the 450-kilometer, or 280-mile, trip to Strasbourg. More than a million people from across the bloc recently signed a petition calling for the two-site arrangement to be scrapped.

RE: IF you want to have a fun read :
By wvh on 3/1/2009 10:24:43 PM , Rating: 1
I've got many friends that work at the EU, including the accountancy department. I used to live a stone's throw away from the EU parliament. It's a sad place that wastes shitloads of time and money. I've heard stories, such as about heated nightly debates about the size of tin cans... Yet the US government blows every 2 weeks the whole annual budget of the EU, so it's not as inefficient as people think.

That whole Strasbourg fiasco – at least, for as long as it still lasts, because I've heard it's about to change – is because of those damn French chauvinists. The true antonym of efficiency is "France", don't you know...

By William Gaatjes on 3/2/2009 12:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
I just saw a documentary about the fraud prevention office olaf. It seems olaf is as corrupt as it should be preventing. in 1998 Paul van Buitenen blowed the whistle.

Millions of euro's where illegally spend if he did not come forward the way he did. Just recently he decided to no longer be a fraude fighter because a large group of parlementarians in the eu does not want to sort out the corruption. True politics indeed. Luckily it's not that worse but there must always be a counter balance before it becomes worse...

NO money.
By William Gaatjes on 3/1/2009 12:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
Let gm sort it out. If Opel is not good enough, let it go backrupt. The same goes for GM. Time for quality not quantity. Let the market do it's work. GM will start again with the volt andwith out the people who made gm worse.

RE: NO money.
By WTFiSJuiCE on 3/1/2009 8:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
I like the idea that GM has for the volt although I thought the concept design was better but's just that 40k$ price tag that has me worried about their viability.

You have the Prius, Camry hybrid, and soon to be Fusion hybrid that even though they are not necessarily employing the exact same methods, they are very efficient cars and they cost much less than the Volt will. Will people be encouraged enough to buy it over the previously mentioned models even if there is that $8000 tax credit or whatever it was?

GM will probably survive this recession with only a core group of automakers under its moniker, GMC, Chevy, Cadillac, ....maybe Pontiac and Buick. If they can't even do that then for **** sake let em die.

I hope Chrysler goes under soon so that saves us a few billion $ every 3 months. They've been floundering for years and propping them up with gov't money is just delaying the layoffs for an rainy day....and it's raining already.

GM will die
By Nik00117 on 3/1/2009 5:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
GM will die, they will be gone and no one will care at the end of the day.

I hate GM because they refuse to allow ENCS to sell to American troops who are stationed overseas.

RE: GM will die
By bigbubba on 3/4/2009 10:18:54 PM , Rating: 2

By uroshi on 3/2/2009 4:08:11 AM , Rating: 2
Think "Demands" is the right word. Actually it is kind of a threat; give the money or tens of thousands will loose their jobs.

EU is cautious about that and tries to avoid social disasters. The problem is now it is a very bad time for handing out billions of cash and I am sure Germany would prefer to have full control of Opel if it had to pour cash into it.

Only good point in saving Opel for Germany would be the image of a solid country in difficult times. VW doubt will be interested, maybe Mercedes or BMW.

RE: "Demands"
By BZDTemp on 3/2/2009 10:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that VW(Porsche) will be interested but as you mention it may be interesting for Merc or BMW. However neither of those are so rich that I can see it happen.

Anyway I won't cry if Opel dies. Last fun thing they made the Lotus Carlton but it must be said that it was a lot of FUN.

GM Daewoo
By daar on 3/1/2009 2:09:50 PM , Rating: 1
They're planning on tossing out Euro divisions like Opel to the winds, but the bastard child GM Daewoo is being kept safe at home? Since when is keeping some Korean brand name important???

RE: GM Daewoo
By rudy on 3/2/2009 12:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
probably because they expect growth in asian markets and access to cheaper manufacturing.

Euros works for me
By taber on 3/1/2009 2:45:03 PM , Rating: 2
This is just getting some money from Germany for losing the majority stake of the company, I'm fine with that.

Seriously though, I don't know that governments needs to be bailing these companies out. It sucks that people are going to lose jobs, but at some point the mass layoffs will be over, the economy will have bottomed out and things will start turning around and jobs will start being created again. If governments intervene too much some inefficient business models will have been kept intact since the government compromised capitalism.

By bigbubba on 3/4/2009 10:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
GM, you're going nowhere faster than the Volt!

Volt & Ampera
By vaporstx on 3/5/2009 4:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
Is that an Ampera production car in the picture? If so, why do we get the Malibu Hybrid, excuse me, The Volt, while Europe gets a halfway decent looking car in the Ampera. Oh that's right, GM is the same company that sells the Holden Commodore in Australia, while Pontiac sells the G8 here in the US. I guess we don't deserve good looking cars here in the US. Guess US customers will have to go somewhere else with their money to find nice looking cars. Oh that's right, they already did, GM is in danger of filing for bankruptcy.

the problem is...
By RoberTx on 3/6/2009 3:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's all because of that damn metric system.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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