Germany Wants Magna

Despite the confident stance Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne has about his company's bid for Opel, it would appear the German officials are leaning towards Magna when talking about who submitted the best offer.

The three bids made for GM's German branch are to be discussed today by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Roland Koch, the governor of Opel's home state, Hesse. In an interview with a German radio, quoted by, Koch said that Magna is, in his opinion, Opel's best choice.

"I think there is a ranking in which the offer from Magna is closest to the hopes and wishes of many in the German political arena but also the workers," the official said. "The Magna concept focuses heavily on new ideas, new markets and new customers, while the others focus more on rationalization."

The main issue regarding the bids is how many people will have to be laid off, in each case. According to some sources, Fiat plans a workforce reduction of about 18,000 jobs, while Magna comes with a proposed 10,000 lay-offs. Fiat asks $5.9 billion in state funds, while the other two
bidders, including Magna, ask for only $5 billion.

"Not all jobs can be preserved in a new European Opel group, but there are concepts that offer a more interesting outlook for the German sites than others do. Magna's is one," the German official said.

Despite the obvious preferences of the German officials, the final decision regarding Opel's future will be made by its-still mother company, GM. The involvement of the German goverment in the matter is required because of the state funding asked by all the parties involved, as well as by the social impact a future decision may have.
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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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