Fiat to GM: “If you have a better offer for Opel, take it”

Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne is known for having a very straightforward character. As you’re all well aware by now, Marchionne is planning a new company with Fiat, GM’s Opel and its new stake in Chrysler, and he’s convinced that the partnership between Fiat and Opel is the best option for GM’s German brand.

“I’m offering the German government a car business that will be effectively debt-free and I will take on Opel’s liabilities, including pensions. I told them: if you have a better offer, take it,” Marchionne told The Economist in an interview published today

Currently, Opel is sandwiched between two bids – one from Fiat and one from Magna International Inc.

Marchionne said that the final deal depends on the European governments and their willingness to provide up to 5 to 7 billion euros in loans that would cover GM Europe’s pension liabilities and debts. He said that together, Opel and Fiat can save at least 1 billion euros a year.

“We can achieve convergence on all the big platforms by 2012. Ultimately, I need to do this with Chrysler, but Opel gets me there much faster and with more immediate returns,” Marchionne said.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: The Economist (via Automotive News)