GM Europe Hires Berger to Help Save Opel

The European unit of General Motors hired consultancy Roland Berger to help parent company establish a better survival plant for Opel. More specifically, Roland Berger will assist General Motors in answering "open questions", as Autonews wrote today quoting an official statement of the American automaker.

Although not clear which are the "questions" to be answered to, German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg met GM CEO Rick Wagoner on Monday to discuss the options to save Opel. zu Guttenberg emphasized once again that GM must find a private investor, the aforementioned source added.

In addition, GM Europe head Carl-Peter Forster admitted that contracting an outside investor would be the "most promising and innovative" way to save Opel and keep Germany from buying a stake in the automaker.

"We have shown that we have the agreement of our parent in the United States that the new European unit that should emerge here will -- in a contractually clearly defined way -- in the future be able to use these development benefits (patents) for the long term," Forster said.

On the other hand, Germany said it is ready to support Opel in its restructuring plan but said it must be sure that no government money goes to General Motors as the American automaker is already seeking for aid from the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted the loan package will be approved once the government makes sure the money will help Opel stay in business and not only postpone the bankruptcy.

Opel submitted its survival proposal to the German government in late February but, due to the lack of details regarding the restructuring process, the state hasn't decided whether to approve or reject the request.

"What we have so far is not a workable basis for a decision," Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck was quoted as saying to Deutschlandfunk radio."We can't make decisions that are irresponsible on a completely inadequate basis."
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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