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Fiat boss Marchionne commits to Opel plants in Germany | Germany | Deutsche Welle | 05.05.2009
The head of Italian automaker Fiat, Sergio Marchionne, has said in an interview he wants to keep open all four Opel plants in Germany after a possible takeover of the struggling carmaker.  

In an interview in the Tuesday edition of the Bild newspaper, Marchionne said he wants to hold on to all of the four Opel plants in Germany but that job cuts may be inevitable.

"We don't want to close any of the four Opel plants in Germany. I need these plants in the future to build sufficient numbers of cars," Marchionne told the paper. "But of course the work force will have to be cut. Nobody can change that," the Fiat CEO said.

by Fran on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 01:45:01 PM EST
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Fiat unveils takeover plan for Opel | Business | Deutsche Welle | 04.05.2009
German Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has expressed cautious optimism about Fiat's bid to buy struggling German carmaker, Opel. But, he also said he was open to bids from other suitors.  

On Monday, the head of Fiat met separately with Guttenberg, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice-Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier for high-level talks to discuss the Italian automaker's plans for an Opel takeover.

The CEO of Italy's Fiat, Sergio Marchionne, presented an audacious plan at the talks in Berlin to snap up all of US carmaker General Motor's European operations and merge them with bankrupt Chrysler to create a new global auto giant.Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne's bid for Opel includes all of GM's European operations

Marchionne touted the plan as a "marriage made in heaven."

by Fran on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 01:47:30 PM EST
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"We don't want to close any of the four Opel plants in Germany

And I'd love to live the life of leisure. Seriously, how a highly leveraged Fiat expects to keep open 4 plants that serve the same market segment as it does while still operating bankrupt Chrysler exceeds my understanding. If I were Marchionne I'd be sorely tempted to take the brand and the patents and scrap the rest.

This entire Opel business is turning really bizarre. There have been reports that Fiat is the preferred candidate of CDU/CSU. Merkel's chosen car advisor, Roland Berger, just happens to sit on Fiat's supervisory board.

On the other side, reports are surfacing that the SPD has been using its contacts to Socialist Austrian ex-Chancellor Vranitzky, who sits on the board of Magna (the Austro-Canadian parts maker which also owns what used to by Steyr in Graz) to get Magna into the bidding.

Interesting times in the car biz.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 02:53:30 PM EST
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