Fiat: We Want Opel

As you already know by now, the Italian manufacturer has already signed for the takeover of a 20 percent stake in bankrupt American manufacturer Chrysler, and even is supposed to take over the company completely after it repays its debt to the US government.

As rumors about the Chrysler bankruptcy have turned out to be true, it may very well be that a Fiat-Opel deal will follow the same path. Fortunately, Fiat officials gave us a hand on this one, after initially denying their interest in the German manufacturer.

According to Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Fiat chairman, the purchase of Opel may be “an extraordinary opportunity". Such a deal will “close the circle” of the Italian expansion, di Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera via Reuters.

Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne will meet German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg on Monday to discuss the Opel deal.

The unions especially consider such a deal disastrous for Opel workers, as Fiat “would not integrate, they would cannibalize each other and this would be positive for neither Fiat workers nor Opel workers," Armin Schild, IG Metall union regional leader told La Stampa.

According to inside sources, Fiat’s offensive might not stop here, as the manufacturer is eyeing a deal with PSA Peugeot Citroen (remember the Eiffel plan we talked about a few weeks back). As a contingency plan if the Opel deal should go south, Fiat is said to want to buy GM’s South American operations.

When asked about these plans, di Montezemolo said: "Easy, we let Sergio work. What I can say is that we are following a strategy coherently. And then we'll see. We know what our cards are and we will play them."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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