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    Not This Again: Spyker Sues GM Over Saab Sale



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 6, 2012

    Former Saab owner Spyker has filled a $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors for its actions of blocking the sale of Saab to Chinese automotive firm, Youngman Automotive.

    "This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market," Spyker said in a statement.

    "GM's actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM's tortiously interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab Automobile to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern."

    "It is hard to believe. We have no comment until we see the lawsuit," GM Spokesman James Cain told Reuters.

    GM might not have seen the lawsuit, but we have. The suit filled in U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Michigan alleges that GM prevented the reorganization of Saab even after agreements were put in place that no GM technology went to Saab's Chinese partners. Saab's Phoenix platform, which was developed separately from GM, was going to be sold to China. The lawsuit further alleges that GM even torpedoed an 11th hour agreement that would have prevented any near term participation of Youngman until after Saab's use of GM technology had passed.

    Source: Reuters

    Spyker's Statement and Filing is on Page 2

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


    SPYKER FILES A THREE BILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT AGAINST GENERAL MOTORS

    Zeewolde, the Netherlands, 6 August 2012 -- Spyker N.V. ("Spyker") announced that it has filed a complaint against General Motors Company ("GM") in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan today at 08.00 AM EST. Spyker filed the complaint in its own right and on behalf of its 100 percent subsidiary Saab Automobile A.B., which was declared bankrupt on December 19, 2011.

    This lawsuit seeks redress for the unlawful actions GM took to avoid competition with Saab Automobile in the Chinese market. GM's actions had the direct and intended objective of driving Saab Automobile into bankruptcy, a result of GM's tortiously interfering with a transaction between Saab Automobile, Spyker and Chinese investor Youngman that would have permitted Saab Automobile to restructure and remain a solvent, going concern. The monetary value of the claim amounts to US$ 3 billion (three billion US dollars).

    Since Saab Automobile is in receivership and hence incapable to contribute to the costs of litigation, Spyker and Saab Automobile have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Spyker will bear the costs of such litigation in exchange for a very substantial share of Saab Automobile's award when the proceedings are successful. Spyker has secured the financial backing required to see the lawsuit through to the end from a third party investor.

    Victor R. Muller, Spyker's Chief Executive Officer said: "Ever since we were forced to file for Saab Automobile's bankruptcy in December of last year, we have worked relentlessly on the preparation for this lawsuit which seeks to compensate Spyker and Saab for the massive damages we have incurred as a result of GM's unlawful actions.

    We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves that justice is done and we will pursue this lawsuit with the same tenacity and perseverance that we had when we tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile, until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy."

    The Complaint, as filed this morning at 08.00 EST, is attached to this Press Release.

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    Spyker! Spyker! Spyker! Spyker!

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to file bankruptcy.

    Edited by Oldsmoboi
    Can't hotlink to that picture apparently.
    -1

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    I would be surprised if this actually goes anywhere. GM exercised their right and this is the end result. Grow up spyker

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    I would be surprised if this actually goes anywhere. GM exercised their right and this is the end result. Grow up spyker

    That is the whole thrust of the lawsuit. Spyker alleges that the deal with Youngman was structured in such a way that GM no longer had the right to interfere.

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    honestly, they both need to grow up. this is old hat. somebody--whoever ends up with Saab--needs to just liquidate them and be done with it. I think that unfortunately, Saab is long past saving. not exactly the best scenario, but it's proably best for everybody. what else can be done, honestly? It seems as though Saab has changed hands--or almost changed hands-- so many times, it's hard to keep track. and every next owner knows that if they try to save it, Saab is just going to drag them down with it.

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    I would be surprised if this actually goes anywhere. GM exercised their right and this is the end result. Grow up spyker

    Agree with you there, sir!

    In the olden days when GM had a lot of money and power, they would have squashed Spyker like a bug.

    Hopefully, they do so now....

    -1

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    It would have been very nice if GM in its entirety had been allowed to die. In reality, this suit seems reasonable. GM is focusing only on the Chinese market at this time as this is where their profits are being made. Their American cars, with the exception of a few buicks that are Opel clones, are junk. The Volt is a joke that is being propped up by government purchases and loss-leading leases. They can not run Opel because their attitude about giving the customer the lowest quality product they will accept has made their vehicles less desirable than those made by the VW group companies. Ford is doing a good job, they have quality, competitive products, both here and abroad, they treated Volvo, Aston Martin and Land Rover well when they were sold, and they are pushing forward. GM used threats and the media to squash Saab's deal with the Chinese that was perfectly within the bounds of their technology licensing agreements with GM. GM, apparently, even threatened to stop producing the SUV made for Saab in their plant under contract.

    This entire issue is even more absurd when one considers that GM has very little technology worth stealing. GM's technology is dated, it is not an innovative company, it is simply a dinosaur run by dinosaurs who still have the misguided belief that the American car industry, and the country as a whole, is a leader and on top.

    I had to laugh. In a conversation with friends recently, no-one had owned a GM vehicle. No-one had friends that had GM vehicles. Several had distant family members in the midwest that still drove GM cars, but the family members were old, and being from the midwest, conservative and backwards thinking. Many had Hondas and Toyotas, a few had Fords, there were a few Jeeps, many BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo drivers, a few Saabs, but nothing from GM. The opinions of the group were that Cadillacs were tacky and driven by old people, drug dealers and people striving to attract attention to themselves. Buicks were for middle class people who were disappointed with their lives and needed tacky chrome trim to show that they were not poor, and Chevrolets were rental cars. police cars, and a brand favored by white trash. The trucks and SUVs were for tradesmen, people with large families (Suburban) and rednecks. GM had lost any credibility with successful people from 25-45. The subject of the Volt brought a chuckle. The typical response was "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?"

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    I guess Victor Muller is shooting a shotgun with a 6-inch barrell on Cheers and Gears?

    The Question like - "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?" makes your enlightened statmement as ignorant as the GM owners you are ranting about. Oh does Prius not have any subsidy from government both US and Japanese?

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    I guess Victor Muller is shooting a shotgun with a 6-inch barrell on Cheers and Gears?

    The Question like - "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?" makes your enlightened statmement as ignorant as the GM owners you are ranting about. Oh and I guess Prius does not have any subsidy from government both US and Japanese?

    Someone is trolling...wonder if it's smk's alter ego...

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    Honestly, Victor Muller should be nullified by GM. Court should call the $3B lawsuit as frivolous and throw it out of the window. When SAAB was worth less than tenth of the price how can he claim that much money? We need to see GM's side. I hope Ackerson and company knew what they were doing when they made those calls for denying the takeover.

    And whoever his financial backers are, they just like before, will lose money of their shirts and skirts.

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    many BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo drivers, a few Saabs, but nothing from GM. The opinions of the group were that Cadillacs were tacky and driven by old people, drug dealers and people striving to attract attention to themselves. Buicks were for middle class people who were disappointed with their lives and needed tacky chrome trim to show that they were not poor, and Chevrolets were rental cars. police cars, and a brand favored by white trash. The trucks and SUVs were for tradesmen, people with large families (Suburban) and rednecks. GM had lost any credibility with successful people from 25-45. The subject of the Volt brought a chuckle. The typical response was "Why buy a Volt when we could buy a Prius?"

    "A few Saabs but nothing from GM".... uh.. what? Unless they're driving a 25+ year old Saab, they're driving something from GM.

    but, your anecdotal evidence from inside your bubble is just that.

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    In my demographic bubble of people I know personally IRL (well-educated people 25-45 working in the software industry, primarily developers, a few management types) in the Phoenix and Denver metro areas, I know very few GM owners...for mainstream brands, most have Honda, Toyota, some Nissan, VW, and Hyundai products, and for premium brands, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, and Volvo..a few Jeep owners.

    I do personally know very few people out of this sample that are GM owners--one couple has a TrailBlazer and a Rendezvous, the other has his-and-hers Escalades (a regular one and an EXT--they previously had a BMW X5 and a Merc ML), another guy has a 4th gen Camaro Z-28 convertible and a Silverado, another has a '69 Chevelle and is looking at buying a new Camaro 1LE.

    Anecdotal, to be sure, but troubling considering the preponderance of Camrys, Civics, Corollas, and Priuses in my circle of friends and colleagues.

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    Moltar,

    GM's problem is perception. The person above gives a good cross-section of ignorance that GM has to deal with. Honestly critics like these need to be taken with heart by GM and worked on. That is where marketing should be effective and concentrated. GM is not doing a good job with marketing.

    With his token we can say the same about the brands his cohorts own.

    Honda and Toyota - bought by clueless, vanilla public who are still stuck in reading their bible on appliances - Consumer Reports. And by younger kids who want to rice those vehicles.

    BMW, Mercedes, Audi - owned by deuchebags and strippers, a herd at higher level.

    Volvo - owned by old cadavers who want to keep their skeletons safe.

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    Moltar,

    Honda and Toyota - bought by clueless, vanilla public who are still stuck in reading their bible on appliances - Consumer Reports. And by younger kids who want to rice those vehicles.

    BMW, Mercedes, Audi - owned by deuchebags and strippers, a herd at higher level.

    Volvo - owned by old cadavers who want to keep their skeletons safe.

    Those are stereotypes also, though....I know some DB BMW/MB/Audi owners, but most I know are good people..hard working tech professionals..same w/ the Prius drivers.

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    Moltar,

    Honda and Toyota - bought by clueless, vanilla public who are still stuck in reading their bible on appliances - Consumer Reports. And by younger kids who want to rice those vehicles.

    BMW, Mercedes, Audi - owned by deuchebags and strippers, a herd at higher level.

    Volvo - owned by old cadavers who want to keep their skeletons safe.

    Those are stereotypes also, though....I know some DB BMW/MB/Audi owners, but most I know are good people..hard working tech professionals..same w/ the Prius drivers.

    I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.

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    In my demographic bubble of people I know personally IRL (well-educated people 25-45 working in the software industry, primarily developers, a few management types) in the Phoenix and Denver metro areas, I know very few GM owners...for mainstream brands, most have Honda, Toyota, some Nissan, VW, and Hyundai products, and for premium brands, Acura, BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, and Volvo..a few Jeep owners.

    I do personally know very few people out of this sample that are GM owners--one couple has a TrailBlazer and a Rendezvous, the other has his-and-hers Escalades (a regular one and an EXT--they previously had a BMW X5 and a Merc ML), another guy has a 4th gen Camaro Z-28 convertible and a Silverado, another has a '69 Chevelle and is looking at buying a new Camaro 1LE.

    Anecdotal, to be sure, but troubling considering the preponderance of Camrys, Civics, Corollas, and Priuses in my circle of friends and colleagues.

    def more domestically oriented around me at work. One Mini-Cooper (that is turning into a reliability nightmare) and the rest domestics. My boss in Houston just bought a CTS over the weekend.

    Off the top of my head the people who sit closest to me:

    LeSabre

    Mustang/Focus Hatch

    Mini Cooper

    Commander (on their second one)

    Durango

    Harley Davidson

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    In my current company (which is a consulting company w/ only 12 people):

    Grand Cherokee ('00) (moi)

    Grand Cherokee ('02) and current-gen Chevy Tahoe (sales VP)

    VW CC (my boss/CEO)

    Acura TL (current gen, co-CEO)

    VW Jetta (1997 or so)

    Honda Civic hybrid

    Honda Civic (2003 or so)

    Hyundai Sonata (previous gen)

    Toyota Tacoma (this guy also has a Cessna and '71 Chevelle project car)

    Toyota Prius

    Honda Accord (about a 2000 or so)

    VW Golf GTI and Mercedes Sprinter camper

    This company has a much lower percentage of Toyotas that other larger places I've worked over the last 15 years...

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    "GM's problem is perception. The person above gives a good cross-section of ignorance that GM has to deal with. Honestly critics like these need to be taken with heart by GM and worked on. That is where marketing should be effective and concentrated. GM is not doing a good job with marketing."

    It has little to do with marketing and more to do with product.

    How about simply making appealing products that don't feel and look cheap, and don't feature over-the-top styling and lackluster fit and finish? I have no animosity towards American cars, or any particular love for many of the foreign brands, but I know that every vehicle from GM's core group of vehicles that I have driven or ridden in has been a disappointment on many levels. Some had good engines, some had good styling, some had ok interiors, rarely did they posses all three things. Some examples are below:

    Rentals:

    Chevy Malibu: OK styling, wheezing engine, cheap plastics inside. An Accord is so much better it is amazing!

    Camaro: OK styling, cheap interior, decent engine (the V6-the V8 is fun but old-fashioned)

    Cadillac DTS: Cheap Cheap Cheap interior, poor ride quality, engine sounded like a powerboat,

    Chevrolet Traverse: Nice styling, nice interior with the exception of many plastic details that were cheap, storage compartments whose latches did not work, poor alignment of panels, and fabric that felt as though it came off a dead mouse. Reasonably smooth engine. Why would a person buy this over a Pilot or Highlander??

    GM vehicles test driven while shopping for recent car purchases.

    Buick LaCrosse-Excellent styling with the exception of the excessive plasticized chrome (which was rough and uneven on the edge of many surfaces. Good engine, nice interior with too much bling. Cheap fake wood, shiny surfaces that reflected off the windshield. It wants to compete with Acura and Lexus, it even comes close, but it is so far away in the details.

    Cadillac SRX: TOO MUCH CHROME ON THE INSIDE. 3.6 engine lacked oomph and sounded rough, instruments difficult to read. many squeaks and rattles. Audi Q5, Lexus RX do it better for the same money. Electronics in the Cadillac were also about 5 years out of date.

    GMs halo cars are cheap and fun. The corvette handles well, has lots of power and is inexpensive compared with its rivals. It may have leather that came from a plastic factory and fit and finish that leaves much to be desired, but it is fun and can be a reachable dream for an average person. It is not as well made as a Porsche, but it is viable and a good mid-life crisis car for Joe the Plumber.

    The Camaro is much the same-good cheap fun. Not something you would want to drive everyday, filled with antique engines and engineering, a throwback to the late 60s, but great at doing smoky burnouts on deserted country roads. It doesn't have to compete with anything other than the Chrysler and Ford equivalents because they are the only cars occupying this class.

    -1

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    I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.

    I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated.

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    The reason to buy a Traverse over a highlander or pilot is room room room without any sacrifice in fuel economy or power.

    There is nothing "ancient" about the Camaro V8. If you're talking about it not having DOHC, DOHC has been around longer than pushrod/ohv.

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    So a Toyota Corrolla with a 4-speed automatic transmission and no platform update since 2003 is a complete package?

    The mahogany-tinted high-gloss wood looks like it came from a downmarket furniture store, and what's with the old Mercedes-style shift gate for the shift lever? And we nearly called an anthropologist when we spied the ES 350's cassette tape player. Sure, Lexus drivers are known enthusiasts of books on tape, but does Mark Levinson know it's still there?

    That is the high quality and completely packaged Lexus for you.

    Or Honda with its 5-speed transmission, no direct injection engines and design that will put GM's 90s design blandness to shame is a complete package? The quality of my 2005 TSX is better than the new TSX. But yes, they are cars that people buy.

    How about the howlers from Nissan - Sentra and Versa. Are they complete packages as well?

    BMW's fit and finish is nothing short of glaringly deficient. The plastics of my 2005 BMW 330i are terrible, the upholstery is peeling off, leather is blemished. The TSX and my 98 Lumina look better in shape than the BMW. The car has had electrical gremlins and also seen all its windows motors replaced. That is indeed a quality product! Have you heard of BMW's HFPF problem? The F30 has no design theme, the plastics look cheap and the interior is virtually unchanged since 1990s. At least Bangle had balls to be creative and polarizing.

    And as for the Corvette and the stereotypes you are adding to the car - the ignorance is similar to the one in your comment about Prius and Volts. Yes Porsche may put clubbed baby seal leather in its anemic 320 odd hp Boxter S but then it clubs the customer $85k for that car. For half that price you can get the 370Z and club the Boxter if you are willing to forget the 85% quality at 105% performance. If I was shelling $200k on a Panamera Turbo S, I will expect the car to have clubbed baby Panda leather sewn by Matthias Muller with his own hands.

    I still stand by my statement that GM lacks in perception game that Japanese and Germans have mastered and now Koreans are mastering. The GM products except for a few are vastly better than the perception you have. Is there a room for improvement? Sure, but they are not howlers as you claim to be.

    I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.

    I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated.

    Neither was I. What I mentioned about those brands also came casually in a lively conversation with informed automobile enthusiasts.

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    if you value room over quality then it is perfect. If that is the only criteria why not buy an AWD minivan? My mind was made up when the storage console door fell off of a vehicle with less than 1,000 miles. UAW Quality!

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    if you value room over quality then it is perfect. If that is the only criteria why not buy an AWD minivan? My mind was made up when the storage console door fell off of a vehicle with less than 1,000 miles. UAW Quality!

    As the owner of a Mazda Miata and MINI Cooper S, I have to disagree. I love sporty cars, and will be buying another car next year. I think the new Focus ST stands a pretty good chance, and I would say that it would ahve better build quality than a new MX5 or MINI Cooper S.

    Test drove a New 13 Mustang before we bought the Cooper S for my wife to drive, fit and finish on the Mustang was much better than even modern BMW products.

    And while I like the new FRS/BRZ, park one next to a Verano or Focus ST, the American/UAW cars are better built, I think.

    Still doesn't mean I won't end up with a world rally blue BRZ or a Candy White GTI in the driveway next spring....But the American cars are there, quality wise.

    Rentals:

    Chevy Malibu: OK styling, wheezing engine, cheap plastics inside. An Accord is so much better it is amazing!

    Camaro: OK styling, cheap interior, decent engine (the V6-the V8 is fun but old-fashioned)

    Cadillac DTS: Cheap Cheap Cheap interior, poor ride quality, engine sounded like a powerboat,

    Chevrolet Traverse: Nice styling, nice interior with the exception of many plastic details that were cheap, storage compartments whose latches did not work, poor alignment of panels, and fabric that felt as though it came off a dead mouse. Reasonably smooth engine.

    GMs halo cars are cheap and fun. The corvette handles well, has lots of power and is inexpensive compared with its rivals. It may have leather that came from a plastic factory and fit and finish that leaves much to be desired, but it is fun and can be a reachable dream for an average person. It is not as well made as a Porsche, but it is viable and a good mid-life crisis car for Joe the Plumber.

    The Camaro is much the same-good cheap fun. Not something you would want to drive everyday, filled with antique engines and engineering, a throwback to the late 60s, but great at doing smoky burnouts on deserted country roads. It doesn't have to compete with anything other than the Chrysler and Ford equivalents because they are the only cars occupying this class.

    And see here I honestly disagree with you, and I own 3 Imported cars and two Chevrolet's...

    I tend to think Porsche cars have real issues as well, and I know a bunch of the Porsche guys. I've done corner work and worked as a race official for Porsche Club of America races, and autocrossed with the Porsche guys. Interior quality issues and build quality issues are very real here also. While I like Porsches (look at how many I've posted in the car pics thread I started) they have issues also.

    And my wife really didn't like the quality of the Accord or Civic when we test drove them...she really, really didn't liek the Civic SI.

    Again, I'm from central Ohio which is "Honda Country." I know a lot of people that work at Honda, both on the line and in engeneering and development. Honda has at least as many issues as GM, seriously I think.

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
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      Right now, compacts and midsize sedans aren’t selling as consumers are directing their attention to crossovers and SUVs. This is due in part to lower gas prices. But sooner or later, the price of gas will go back up and cause many to go back to smaller vehicles. With talk about GM scaling back on their small and midsize car lineup, this decision could have consequences down the road. Plus with Opel out of the picture, GM doesn’t have someone it can rely on to get these models back to the forefront. We can hope GM’s North American office has learned some stuff when working with their European counterparts.
    • By William Maley
      Last week saw the PSA Group (parent company of Citroen and Peugeot) purchasing Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for $2.3 billion. This move would make the PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe. We already know some of the plans that PSA Group has for their new brands such as setting operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 (jumps to 6 percent by 2026) and the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa being the first new product developed with PSA. But as we alluded to in the original news story, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered such as possible job cuts or what happens to Buick and Holden as they share products with Opel. I have been doing a bit of thinking on these and some other questions. The end result is this piece.
      1: Will there be job cuts and plant closures?
      In 2016, PSA Group employed 172,000 people worldwide. With the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, they will be adding close to 42,000 workers (the majority of those from Opel). The number of plants will also increase to 28 due to this purchase. Sooner or later, PSA Group is going have to make cuts. During the press conference announcing the deal, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said the company “would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.” That may be true for now, but this might change within the coming years. Some analysts believe PSA Group will close two to three plants within five years.
      The most likely place where the closures and layoffs could take place is in Great Britain. The reason as we talked about in a story back in February deals with the decision made by British citizens last year with leaving the European Union.
      “By leaving, the country would lose access to the EU Single Market which guarantees unconstrained trade across the member states. It would mean various countries would be leveraging tariffs on British-made goods, making production in the country less competitive.”
      Former British member of parliament and business secretary Sir Vincent Cable outlined how bad this decision looks for Vauxhall in a recent interview on BBC Radio 4.
      There could be a way that the British Government could at least stall the possible closures. Back in October, the British Government worked out a secret deal with Nissan to keep them investing in British car production at their plant in Sunderland. This deal caused an uproar as the details were kept as many believed the British Government would be handing over money to keep Nissan happy. But sources told British newspaper The Independent back in January that the deal had no mention of money.
      It could be that the British Government could do something similar for PSA Group to keep jobs, but it is too early to say if this will happen or not.
      2: Will this affect PSA’s plans of entering the U.S.?
      Probably not. Let’s remember that PSA Group is working through a ten-year plan that may or may not see the return of the Citroen and Peugeot, along with the introduction of DS to the country. Already, the first part of this plan is gearing up for the launch of a car sharing service next month. There is also extensive research going on into the U.S. marketplace. 
      But could there be a possibility of Opel or Vauxhall vehicles being sold here? It would not be surprising if there isn’t talk about this at PSA Group’s HQ. But there is a slight complication to this idea. As part of the sale, PSA Group cannot sell any Opel vehicles developed by GM anywhere in various markets outside of Europe (China and U.S. for example) until they transition to PSA platforms. That means a number of models such as the Astra, Insignia, and Mokka are out of the question for the time being. If Opel was chosen to be one of the brands PSA would sell in the U.S., they might not have a full line of vehicles to sell due to this clause.
      3: What does the future hold for Buick and Holden?
      If there are some losers from the sale of Opel, it has to Buick and Holden. Buick has found some success with Opel products as the Encore (rebadged Mokka) has become one the best-selling models for the brand. Holden is getting a shot in the arm as the Astra will hopefully help their fortunes in the compact space, and the new Commodore (rebadged Insignia) has a tough task ahead of it with living up to an iconic name. For the time being, Opel will continue supplying models to both brands. It is what happens in the future that many are concerned about.
      During the Geneva Motor Show, GM President Dan Ammann said something very interest to Australian journalists about the future of Holden’s products.
      This makes sense as the Astra was only launched and the Commodore is getting ready to go on sale. But I wouldn’t be surprised if talks begin very soon about this very topic. The same talks are likely to begin at Buick soon where they face the same issue for the Regal and Encore. Our hunch is Buick might have the easier time of two. The Encore would continue on since it shares the same platform as the Chevrolet Trax. As for the Regal, it could leave Buick’s lineup once the next-generation model runs its course.
      4: Does GM lose anything with this deal?
      There has been a lot of talk about how much money will be freed up from the sale of Opel/Vauxhall for GM, along with making a bit more profit. But it comes at a cost that could hurt GM down the road. The recent crop of compact and midsize sedans from GM owe a lot to Opel’s engineering knowledge. Vehicles that excel in driving dynamics and fuel economy are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the European marketplace. As we know, one part of why GM went into bankruptcy was the lack of competitive small and midsize cars that got good fuel economy. Opel would prove to be GM’s savior with this key knowledge.
      Right now, compacts and midsize sedans aren’t selling as consumers are directing their attention to crossovers and SUVs. This is due in part to lower gas prices. But sooner or later, the price of gas will go back up and cause many to go back to smaller vehicles. With talk about GM scaling back on their small and midsize car lineup, this decision could have consequences down the road. Plus with Opel out of the picture, GM doesn’t have someone it can rely on to get these models back to the forefront. We can hope GM’s North American office has learned some stuff when working with their European counterparts.

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    • By William Maley
      General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
      Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
      "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
      Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
      GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
      As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
      These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
      "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
      Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
      "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
      John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
      "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
      Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
      "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
      Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
      GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
      As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
      These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
      "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
      Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
      "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
      John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
      "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      As General Motors begins to close the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group, there are questions as to what GM will do in the European market afterwards. According to Automotive News, GM is planning to become a niche brand with selling Cadillac models, along with the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette.
      “That is the plan at this time, to continue with those models and brands in Europe. We continue to grow the Cadillac brand. We’ll continue to do that in a very disciplined fashion,” said GM CEO Mary Barra on a conference call this morning.
      Cadillac has been trying to make end roads into Europe for a decade with middling success. Last year, Cadillac's 45 dealers in Europe (mostly in Germany and Switzerland) sold 781 vehicles, up 33 percent when compared to 2015. The brand has the goal of selling 5,000 vehicles yearly in Europe by the end of this decade. This includes sales of the Camaro and Corvette which are doing much better - more than 1,800 models sold last year. 
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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