Magna in Trouble, Opel Bound for BAIC, RHJ

Even if Magna International continues its efforts to secure the Opel deal by mid-September, General Motors has signed non-binding agreements with China's Beijing Automotive and Belgium's RHJ International. Although it's not clear whether it is just another way to put more pressure on the shoulders of the Canadian - Austrian parts manufacturer, this is another indication that Opel could step under the patronage of a different party, other than Magna.

Fiat's Sergio Marchionne also revealed that there are some problems in the Magna - Opel negotiations and reconfirmed his interest in the German brand. The Chinese have already confirmed their intention to take over GM Europe's unit while RHJ was one of the parties favorite to snatch it before Magna International initially sealed the deal.

“We’re in very active negotiations with several potential partners including Magna, Beijing Auto and Ripplewood,”
Chris Preuss, a GM Europe spokesman, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “I wouldn’t comment at this point on the status of the talks or the specific details of the negotiations other than to say we have very strong interest in Opel from all the parties involved.”

What's interesting is that sources familiar with the matter revealed that a final decision over the future Opel owner won't be announced before the September 27 national elections. Wondering why? We surely do wonder but we can only speculate that this is a hint the German government might pick a different investor for Opel. BAIC maybe?

According to several reports, Magna International is the solely responsible for the current situation, as the Canadian - Austrian investor is now "pushing extreme demands," as Armin Schild, a member of Opel’s supervisory board and an official of Germany’s IG Metall labor union, told the aforementioned source.

It appears that Magna is planning to bring a number of changes in GM's engineering designs of Opel models which does not comply with GM's very own demands. Furthermore, the parts manufacturer wants to get access to GM's technologies, including fuel cells and hybrids, but the American manufacturer refuses to do so.
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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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