The German government has said it will announce the choice for a partner for Opel on Wednesday evening.
The subject has again been under discussion at the German Chancellery where Angela Merkel met with her top advisers and Fiat’s chief Sergio Marchionne. The Italian was pragmatic afterwards. He said the talks had been “constructive.” Asked if Fiat would be chosen, Marchionne said: “Right now it’s a lottery.” After the Marchionne meeting, German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was guarded when asked about Fiat’s chances. He said: “Fiat made a respectable impression today, not bad, but we had the feeling that their bid has to be improved.” One of those with influence on the choice is Peter Struck, the leader of the Social Democrats’ in the German parliament He told reporters: “I think that the chancellor needs to look at Magna’s bid very carefully, because, I believe, it is the most realistic and the best.” Opel workers seem divided over which would be best – Fiat or the other major contender Austrian-Canadian car parts maker Magna. There is also a bid from Belgium-listed industrial holding RHJ International and China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding has signalled an interest. Although Opel’s official seller is GM it is the German politicians who will supply the necessary billions in loans and so who have the final choice.