While General Motors North America is in the midst of conducting an aggressive campaign to secure emergency funding from the U.S. government, General Motors Europe and GM’s European subsidiary, Adam Opel GmbH, are preparing for the worst case scenario. Possessing a foresight their American counterparts noticeably lacked, although GM Europe is not in any immediate danger of depleting their cash reserves, they are concerned with the possible repercussions if GM North America is not able receive federal assistance.
Seeking to secure a safety net of sorts in the event that the cash flow from their parent company is shut off, representatives from Opel paid a visit to the German Chancellery today to discuss the possibility of a government “guarantee.” Meeting with both Economics Minister Michael Glos (CSU) and Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück (SPD), GM Europe President and Opel Supervisory Board President Carl Forester explained, “Opel does not have a short-term liquidity problem…We are not talking about subsidies, rather a protective umbrella of available liquidity in the worst case.”
Statement from Adam Opel GmbH regarding talks with the German Chancellery
Opel thanks German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), Economics Minister Michael Glos (CSU) and Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück (SPD) for the opportunity to meet in the Federal Chancellery today and to talk about possible government guarantees. The talks were conducted in a very constructive and open atmosphere. The representatives of Adam Opel GmbH are therefore reassured that their request was listened to seriously and will be so considered.
Carl-Peter Forster, Supervisory Board President of Adam Opel GmbH and President of General Motors Europe underscores once again the special situation of Opel as a subsidiary of General Motors. “Opel does not have a short-term liquidity problem,” Forster says. Instead, the talks were required in the worst-case scenario that financial flows from the US no longer would be possible. It would then be necessary to secure the competitiveness of Opel. In this case, a government guarantee could be a solution. “We are not talking about subsidies, rather a protective umbrella of available liquidity in the worst case,” Forster says.
The Opel management, Forster says, feels duty bound to work toward the goal of securing the future of this traditional brand. This is particularly important for the future of great automobiles: On the very day of the chancellery talks, the new Opel Insignia was awarded “Car of the Year 2009” by expert motoring journalists.
Participants in the talks for Opel were Carl Peter Forster, Supervisory Board President of Adam Opel GmbH and President of General Motors Europe; Hans Demant, Opel Managing Director and Klaus Franz, head of Opel Works Council.
Source: General Motors Corp.