Some Opel dealers open to the takeover of the GM subsidiary by a Chinese automaker

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 16, 2011

Some of the biggest dealers of Opel seem to be open to the idea of a Chinese vehicle manufacturer taking over the General Motors Co. unit. According to them, separating from GM would let the automaker sell cars in new, big markets like China. Outside Europe, GM limits Opel sales on fears that the brand would cannibalize sales of other established brands within GM.

Albert Still, chairman of the AVAG Holding, which is Opel's largest dealer in Europe, said that with a Chinese investor taking a stake on Opel, new markets would be opened for the GM unit.

He added that Ford Motor Co.'s sale of Volvo Cars to China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is a good example that the participation of a Chinese investor does not necessarily harm a European brand.

He also said that if a Chinese company invests, it would be because it wants to make its way into the market in Europe. Another big Opel dealer in Germany with a positive attitude towards a takeover is Stefan Quary, head of the Duerkop multiple-brand group.

Quary stated that a proposal by a Chinese investor who wants to take Opel in order to enter European market as a globalization measure for its own automotive involvement has to be seriously examined.

He added that the dealers will not see it as a bad thing if the GM unit continues to be positioned judiciously as a European brand because its knowledge is “not simply drained away” but instead, it continues to grow.

Last week, Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke dismissed German press reports that the unit could be sold to a Chinese company or to Volkswagen as baseless and merely speculation.

Topics: opel, gm

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