At a recent news conference to officially launch labor talks with the UAW, General Motors Co. CEO Daniel Akerson categorically stated that Opel is not for sale. He acknowledged that there has been intense speculation on the future of the European unit. In early June, there were reports from Germany that Opel will be sold and that interested buyers include Volkswagen and Chinese automakers.
Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold said that Akerson’s statement could be true or not but he believes that it was necessary to protect Opel's sales and employee morale.
Nesvold has a "hold" rating on GM's shares. He explained that most CEOs who are in the same position will deny matters and will confirm its sale only when it’s already sold. On June 30, Opel Chairman Nick Reilly said that he was “very satisfied” with how Opel is progressing.
Back then, he didn’t succeed in quashing speculations that GM is thinking about selling it. In this low-growth region, Opel is still a high-cost player.
But the competition in this segment is fierce and this has prompted rumors of a sale or labor concessions by its workers.
Earlier in July, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was criticized for speculating on Opel's future. GM didn’t specifically deny or confirm if Opel was for sale. This has been justifiably frustrating for the German government leaders and Opel union officials.