Blog: Dave LeggettMagna gets 'very aggressive'

Dave Leggett | 10 June 2009

I was having a discussion yesterday with someone about Opel. Look, I said, Fiat makes sense in many ways, but what Magna said was more attractive to German politicians in terms of plant closures and job losses.

Fiat was going to make a merger work by taking an axe to the combined unit's operations – and capacity reduction is coming down the line for the whole industry in Europe, one way or another. Fiat also has a global footprint - manufacturing and distribution.

So, what will Magna do, how does that work? Well, it's not a car maker, I replied. It knows a lot about being a Tier 1 supplier, systems integrator and a low volume contract assembler. But it doesn't have the duplicated activities, it's more a synergistic thing. Oh, and the Magna deal is also reliant on keeping things very tight with GM on technology and distribution, while making plenty of hay in Russia when the Russian car market comes back.

All business plans are predicated on assumptions and market projections of one sort or another. But to be in profit by 2011, when Carl-Peter Forster had said 2013? 'Very aggressive' is a polite way of putting it. Maybe they know something we don't.

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