Opel Chief, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, told reporters that an agreement with unions about a fix of money-losing Opel is a while away. “I expect this not to happen in a month or so, rather than in a couple of months, that’s at least how I see the timetable,” Stracke told Reuters. New York-based RBC Capital Markets analyst, Joseph Spak, estimates that restructuring Opel will cost US$600 million this year and another US$400 million in 2013. In a note to investors, he commented that ‘the cost is likely to be steep and the savings not immediate’.
Brian Johnson, an analyst at Barclays Capital, estimates that GM needs to cut 4,000 jobs in Europe and will cost GM anywhere between US$1 billion and US$1.2 billion. However, the unions have contracts that rule out plant closing or firings until 2014.
It looks like the various parties have to come together for a compromised solution before Opel goes down the road taken by Saab. That would be a pity as Opel does have some interesting models such as the Opel Astra OPC (below).