EXCLUSIVE: AUSTRIA: Magna won't bid again for Opel
Magna International has quashed any suggestion it might bid for troubled Opel as debate surrounding the General Motors European division continues to rage.
Opel – together with its British operation Vauxhall – posted huge losses of US$700m recently while GM's announcement it was to seek an alliance with French giant PSA Peugeot Citroen has seen unions in the UK, France and Germany call emergency summits to discuss any potential job losses and plant closures.
Magna came extremely close to purchasing Opel only two years ago but was thwarted by a last minute change of heart from parent General Motors which elected to stick with turning around its ailing subsidiary.
“No plans to look at Opel,” Magna International Europe president Guenther Apfalter told just-auto at the company's headquarters south of Vienna. “There is zero, zero chance."
GM's decision to pull back at the last minute reportedly caused great bitterness at the highest echelons of German political life but Magna is adamant its former interest will not be revisited.
“There is no initiative from the German government – there are no acquisitions of other OEMs,” Apfalter said.
Despite Europe remaining a challenge for Magna as the region wrestles with plummeting consumer confidence and financial woes in Mediterranean eurozone countries, Apfalter maintained there was no “significant” intentions to cut jobs in his 40,000-strong workforce.
“There are no significant plans to reduce headcount in Europe,” he said.