California Autos Examiner

Friday, May 29, 2009

Let's get tentative: GM and Magna have reached an agreement in principle

The Magna Carta and has nothing to do with Magna International

Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International believes it may have found a diamond in the rough in GM's European Opel division. Opel has been pursued by several suitors, including a well publicized bid by Fiat. Many in Germany opposed a Fiat link because of concerns that too many jobs would be lost in consolidation efforts. Magna, which currently assembles cars for other manufacturers but does not have a brand to call its own, wants to use Opel to crack into the Russian market.

"We can contribute a lot [to this alliance]," Magna International Inc. founder and Chief Executive Frank Stronach .

Magna has tried to purchase automakers before, most famously with a failed bid for Chrysler but also reportedly tried for Aston Martin Lagonda.

According to Wikipedia, Magna employs 83,000 employees at 240 manufacturing operations in 24 countries around the world. Magna supports these operations with 62 engineering and R&D centers in 14 countries.

Frank Stronach's story of rags to riches has inspired many an entrepreneur. Stronach arrived in Montreal from the Austrian Alps, at age 21 with $200 in cash and suitcase of clothes. Frank began his Canadian adventure peeling potatoes in a hospital kitchen, but quickly moved on to becoming a crafty businessman.

No official announcement from either company has been made at this point.

For more info: Check out this Reuters article.

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