Opel/Vauxhall is General Motors’ major European car brand. Opel has been hemorrhaging money for years, and GM CEO Dan Akerson is feeling the heat from shareholders. Yet things may have just gotten even more complicated for Akerson, as current United Auto Workers President Bob King joins Opel’s supervisory board.
King’s appointment to the board was mitigated by Germany’s strong metalworkers union IG Metall, though also supported by GM. King had a strong reputation as a “firebrand” within the UAW, though his current actions as its president have been more conciliatory than reactionary. The automotive press is keen on seeing which side he’ll be showing: In recent talks with GM/Opel, IG Metall recently slammed the hammer down, declaring it will not accept any restructuring of Opel operations like plant closure. The automaker, on the other hand, believes such closures are necessary to bring Opel out of the red.
Automotive.com’s take: We can see no immediate effect on U.S. car buyers from this appointment. Or the possible firestorm overseas.