The Magna International consortium that will buy Opel will be seeking to leverage the technology it has acquired by exploiting it on the Russian market.
The Canadian parts manufacturer is fronting an extremely powerful team for the job. Providing the money is Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank. Sberbank is backed by the Russian state, so has no difficulty opening the right political doors. What’s more, the bank’s president believes he’s picked up a bargain. “In my opinion,” said German Gref, “it’s a very good opportunity for Russia to acquire one of Europe’s most technologically advanced carmakers at an unprecedented low cost.” Providing a valuable distribution network will be Gaz. The Russian car maker is the third big player in the consortium. Gaz has major financial difficulties. It is burdened by 11 billion euros of debts, but as manufacturers of the legendary Volga car it has got strong brand presence in Russia. It will be be hoping that Opel will give it the technological boost it needs to exploit its powerful position.