Opel Sale Delayed?

The whole automotive industry was expecting to see Opel stepping under Magna ownership today but it appears the sale might be delayed one day or two because the Canadian - Austrian partsmaker is yet to sign an agreement with union officials. Furthermore, questions on the financing to be approved for restructuring Opel blocked the signing which, according to a report by, might come tomorrow or during the weekend.

German business daily Handelsblatt is a bit more optimistic and says that the involved parties could come to a conclusion as soon as Thursday night. Still, there's no official announcement on the current state of negotiations.

Magna's problems are probably coming from Spain, a country that opposed the proposed job cuts from the very beginning. After workers protested against Magna's announced job layoff - 1,650 workers were believed to be let go - the Canadian - Austrian company submitted a revised proposal, saying that only 1,300 employees will be actually fired.

Germany would be the most affected, according to some leaked documents that surfaced a few weeks ago, with 4,116 fired employees. Belgium takes the second place with 2,517 fired employees, followed by Spain with 2,090 and the UK with 1,373.

An uncertain situation also exists in Belgium where Magna might close the Antwerp plant.

"We have not been told that Antwerp will be closed,"
deputy head of GM Europe's works council Rudi Kennes said. "Magna has not said that the Antwerp factory is going to close," Rudi Kennes of Belgium's FGTB trade union told German HR-Info radio.

Meanwhile, Opel's workers are ready to fight to keep the plant open. "If we don't fight today for the future of Antwerp, it will be the same thing at another plant tomorrow," Peter Scherrer, German head of the European metalworkers federation (FEM), told AFP.
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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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