GM is taking offers for Wilmington Plant - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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GM is taking offers for Wilmington Plant

FROM SOLSTICE SISTER SITE

Didn't catch the teleconference this morning, but Automotive News is reporting that CEO Fritz Henderson was asked about Wilmington and the Solstice/Sky and provided a direct and interesting reply:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Automotive News
GM would accept offers for Del. sports car plant, Henderson says

Richard Truett Automotive News | May 11, 2009 - 11:15 am EST

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC’s Viper plant isn’t the only American sports car factory on the market.

General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said today the company will listen to offers for the Wilmington, Del., plant that builds the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice sports cars.

The Solstice and Sky have been America’s top-selling budget sports cars -- outselling the Mazda Miata on a combined basis -- every year they’ve been on the market since 2007.

Pontiac just now is launching a coupe version of the Solstice, but only around 1,000 are expected to be built before production ends when the Pontiac division dies.

In 2008, Pontiac sold 10,739 Solstices while Saturn sold 9,162 Sky roadsters. Mazda sold 10,977 Miatas. Those figures were down from 2007 when GM sold 16,779 Solstices and 11,263 Saturn Skys while Mazda sold 15,075 Miatas.

The plant also builds a low-volume version of the roadster for Europe called the Opel GT.

But those cars could live on if GM receives an acceptable offer for the plant, the vehicles and the production equipment.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters today, Henderson said: “If someone were to approach us with a proposal that made good sense for our people, we would be open. We are not out actively trying to market a plant, per se. But if a party were interested, we’d be very open to this and would encourage it. We haven’t had any inbounds on the subject at this point.”

Chrysler has not had any viable offers on the Viper sports car and plant. Current plans call for production to end in December.

OUCH.....

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 10:03 PM
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Would love to see the Kappas stay around and even updated. Also, would like to have my dealer stay in business. I wonder if it could happen with Penske and Renault/Nissan? Read blog from Motor Trend.

GM Update: Factories for Sale, Opel's Future Within Company Still Unclear | Car News Blog at Motor Trend

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Last edited by user2264; 05-11-2009 at 10:29 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 10:04 PM
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Any body think that Fiat would take up the Kappas and just market them under the Opel name. Why not kill two birds with one stone, Fiat is most likely getting them any ways why not keep the car around and just market it as the Opel but still being built in the good ol' USA. I'd buy another one if that happened, still being built the same way just a different brand here as it is over in Europe right now. Seem ideal but then this is the non idealistic people making decisions on these matters.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 09:19 PM
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...I hope it does get purchased. Otherwise, this year's mecca will be the last and I never got to go...

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMO View Post
Any body think that Fiat would take up the Kappas and just market them under the Opel name. Why not kill two birds with one stone, Fiat is most likely getting them any ways why not keep the car around and just market it as the Opel but still being built in the good ol' USA. I'd buy another one if that happened, still being built the same way just a different brand here as it is over in Europe right now. Seem ideal but then this is the non idealistic people making decisions on these matters.
Labor and Supplier Contracts.

GM can offer Opels, Saturns, Pontiacs, and Daewoo because they are all GM. The plant, the labor, the supplier contracts...all GM. GM can sell the plant, and the buyer can use it for whatever they wish....but that would be the easy part.

The contracts for labor and suppliers is through GM. The labor contracts might be transferable under a package deal of some kind (since the parties involved are relatively few), but the suppliers become problematic. There are probably hundreds (thousands?) of supplier contracts, with a weaving of conditions. Some (many?) of the GM supplier contracts are tied to other larger volume GM contracts. A new company would not have these ties, resulting in the loss of economies of scale. Some of the parts come from other GM lines (some of which may be shutting down), and many which would require GM becoming the supplier. Negotiating a supplier contract with a company on the threshold or in bankruptcy is fraught with dangers.

In fact, this is the problem with a GM bankruptcy in general. The weave of supplier contracts across the product line is enormous. Many are hinged on volume rates. GM contracts (I'm using the term in the sense of getting smaller)...volume drop...suppliers lose their economies of scale, necessitating an increase in price (unacceptable to GM), ending the contract (unacceptable to GM), or bankruptcy for the supplier (unacceptable to GM).

GM has leveraged their economies of scale across their global enterprise. As the economies of scale unravel, the cascading effect could be devastating. I'm hard pressed to see any solvent buyer stepping into the middle of that.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 02:24 PM
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The only way to "unravel" ALL those contracts Bogie posted above is thru bankruptcy.. Trust me, that second shoe will drop if not by June 1st, it'll drop soon after.. Otherwise the only other solution will be Government Motors which we all know is NOT acceptable with even more Multi-Billions more dollars poring into that mess of a company from the taxpayers.. Which to me is UNACCEPTABLE!! We as a country have already wasted to much in these "TARP" hand outs.. NO MORE!!




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