- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
What if Ford and General Motors merged? The result would be a global automotive machine so inconceivably huge rivals like Toyota and Volkswagen might not even think of challenging it. And it would be awash with cash, and profits, cutting tremendous expenses at both automaker from research and development all the way to accounting. At least this was the plan proposed by General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner in a private meeting with Ford executives in the summer of 2008.
In the latest chapter of the ongoing sage of corporate restructuring at General Motors, the company’s head of U.S. sales has announced his resignation. Mark La Neve, who became VP of sales and marketing in 2005, has said he will leave on October 15th. La Neve’s position has been in question since industry veteran Bob Lutz was appointed head of marketing when the company emerged from bankruptcy.
General Motors has just announced a deal that will see it’s European Opel brand sold off to Canadian autoparts supplier Magna International. The deal has yet to be finalized, but this morning GM announced Magna was the preferred bidder.
The sale will see Magna and Russian backer Sberbank take a 55 percent stake in both Opel and Vauxhall. Opel employees will get a 10 percent stake in the new company. GM will continue to hold on to a 35 percent stake in Opel.
“The hard work over the past two weeks to clarify open issues and resolve details in the German financial package brought GM and its Board of Directors to recommend Magna/Sberbank,” said Fritz Henderson, GM President and CEO. “We thank all parties involved in the intensive process of the last few months — especially the German government — for their continued support that enables this new venture. I’d also like to thank the Opel and Vauxhall customers for their continued loyalty. GM will continue to closely collaborate with Opel and Vauxhall to develop and produce more great cars, such as the new Insignia and the new Astra,” Henderson added.
The deal will see continued cooperation by GM and Opel, allowing the two automakers to take advantage of economies of scale. The cooperation will also extend to projects like the Ampera (pictured above), a European version of the Chevy Volt.
Official release after the jump:
During GM’s product technology even held yesterday CEO Fritz Henderson confirmed that the automaker’s top-tier Cadillac brand will bring a new flagship sedan, as well as an entry-level sedan to market shortly.
The new high-end model will replace the DTS and is reportedly to be called the XTS. This full-sized luxury sedan will be based on the same platform as at the 2010 Buck LaCrosse and will be offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The vehicle will reportedly use design cues from the Cadillac Sixteen Concept.
The most exciting news, however, comes from the lower-end of the luxury spectrum where Cadillac says it will build a new model to compete directly with the BMW 3 Series.
“We are determined to repeat what CTS has already achieved in design, quality, driving dynamics, performance and fuel economy to grow our presence in this high-volume and highly competitive segment,” said Henderson.
Unofficially known as the ATS, this new model will initially be offered only as a sedan in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, but a coupe is likely if the sedan sells well.
Additionally, GM re-confirmed that the CTS Sport Wagon and new 2010 SRX will go on sale this month. The SRX will be offered with both a direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 as well as an optional turbocharged 2.8-liter V6.
Official release after the jump:
Calling the Pontiac G8 “Too good to waste,” GM’s new product boss, Bob Lutz, has just announced that the car will live on, rebadged as a Chevrolet Caprice. The news comes as a surprise, considering GM’s CEO Fritz Henderson has been unwavering in his insistence that the car would be eliminated from the New GM.
Today the sun rose on a New General Motors, a move which will also see the sun set on a lot of people’s careers. GM emerged from bankruptcy protection at 6:30 a.m. Eastern Time with news of a serious corporate restructuring plan that will take effect over the next few months.
Late Sunday a judge approved the sale of GM’s assets to a group comprised of the U.S. government, the UAW and the Canadian and Ontario governments under the name NGMCO, Inc. The decision will see GM exit bankruptcy court quickly with the ‘New GM’ assets going to NGMCO, while the ‘Old GM’ assets will be sold off to the highest bidder.