GM puts Europe on cruise control

Jill Barshay Aug 4, 2009
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GM puts Europe on cruise control

Jill Barshay Aug 4, 2009
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Germany’s government is scheduled to hold talks today with the two final bidders for General Motors’ European operations, also known as Opel. Europe is one of the world’s biggest car markets. But as Jill Barshay reports, GM doesn’t see a whole lot of growth potential there.


JILL BARSHAY: GM sees its future in Asia, South America and the Middle East, but not Europe.

Craig Fitzgerald is an automotive analyst at Plante & Moran. He says GM’s decision to turn its back on Europe is a tough one.

CRAIG FITZGERALD: What they are doing is de-emphasizing Europe, so they’ve got the capital available to support what they think are the stronger growth markets

But Fitzgerald says GM isn’t giving up on Opel or Europe altogether. It’ll retain a stake in the German company.

FITZGERALD: They will try to maintain their hold on Europe while not committing significant capital to their European operations.

GM wants to pick a buyer that will agree to the closest business alliance — to do things like buy parts together and share designs and technologies.

The German government’s throwing money into the deal too. But it has different priorities. It wants guaranteed employment for German workers.

I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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