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Success of GM is to own-goal for Opel


GM-Flagge vor dem Opel-Werk in Bochum. Quelle: ap

GM flag in front of the Opel plant in Bochum. Source: AP

FRANKFURT / BERLIN. Black numbers, more sales, high cash flow: The Opel parent company General Motors has stepped up with better than expected quarterly results cast doubt on the need for further state aid for the Opel car manufacturers. "GM is in such conditions really do not require state assistance more from Germany, Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive said in Bergisch Gladbach. GM generate enough cash to even raise this amount.

The Federal Ministry reacted cautiously. "We will include the latest numbers in the test for state assistance with," a spokeswoman said on request. Concrete is Paul Friedhoff, the economic spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group: he not only better quarterly figures for GM, but also a much improved situation on the capital notes "for the automaker. If GM that plays into the hands should succeed, even a failing without government support, "said Friedhoff. "If this fails, we need to throw good money after bad no."

Opel boss insists on aid

Opel boss Nick Reilly wants to know nothing of it, however. The company does not have sufficient funds for the restructuring of Opel and Vauxhall, Reilly had emphasized only recently. Opel but need additional resources to invest in future products and technologies.

But GM is now threatening the struggle for state support in Germany to be victims of own success. Federal Minister Rainer Brüderle (FDP) had described the economic development of General Motors recently been the "mother of all issues" in deciding on state guarantees on Opel. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. company has already generated profits again.

On balance, the U.S. company earned in the first three months of 865 million dollars, as Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said on Monday. A year ago the company had reported a loss of $ 5,980,000,000. The European business, however, remained with an operating loss of 500 million dollars in losses.

At the weekend the car was already an expert Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer from the University of Duisburg-Essen put our finger in the wound, and GM certified that the company can do without German government aid come at Opel. By the better-automotive business with high double-digit growth in sales in North America and Asia, GM had expected a lot more cash than. In addition, CTM must muster because the weak euro now far less for the restructuring of subsidiaries, as conceived in November 2009.

Opel seeks state aid amounting to € 1.8 billion, of which Germany is to contribute about 1.3 billion euros. GM itself will put € 1.9 billion in Opel’s rescue, partly as equity and partly in the form of loans. Until now the only UK specific aid commitments over 300 million € for Opel has done. But there also are positive signals coming from Spain, it is at Opel.

GM boss Ed Whitacre will already this year is operationally profitable again – it would be the first time since 2004. The Company paid back in April already state aid of nearly seven billion dollars in Canada and the United States early.

Following the success GM is aiming even called for a return to the stock market. The U.S. government considers itself a newspaper report says at after consultants for the return of the car maker to Wall Street. Overall, given the once world’s largest car company loans from the U.S. government of about $ 50 billion. The Ministry of Finance has, in return, 61 percent of GM common stock.