Thursday, December 24, 2009

Magna Says GM Agreement Forbids Sale of Opel Cars in the U.S. and China

Even though General Motors has kept a significant 35-percent stake in its European division, the agreement with Opel's new owner, a Magna-led consortium, does not allow the latter to sell Opel cars in the United States and for the time being, in China also. "The agreement with GM does prevent us from selling Opel in the United States," said the chairman of the Canadian auto parts company Frank Stronach at a news conference in Ottawa.

When asked by reporters if the agreement with GM also applies in China, one of the world's largest car markets, Stronach said: "Yes, for the moment, but keep in mind that General Motors - we've been working together for 50 years, we've been great partners, and they still own 35 percent of Opel."

Magna's boss added that GM may change its mind in concern of the Chinese market in the future. "If it makes economic sense you might persuade people to change something," he said.

During the news conference, Stronach also told reporters that he anticipates that Opel will break even in a period of three years and start making a profit in four. As for the rumors concerning Magna's interest in Saturn and Saab which are also up for sale by GM, the Canadian auto-part's chairman said that his company is focusing on Opel for the time being. "We have to digest Opel now, and we have got a mouthful, so we'll see how quickly that will take place."

Via: CNN & Reuters

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