“The agreement with General Motors does prevent us from selling Opel in the United States,” Frank Stronach told reporters at a news conference in Ottawa.
Even though GM will no longer be the majority shareholder of Opel, it will still maintain strong ties to the German brand. It will retain the right to use Opel platforms and vehicles for its U.S. models.
GM’s cars in China will also be protected from the in-house competition – Opel is prohibited from selling its cars in that market under the agreement. However, unlike with the U.S. market, Stronach hinted that GM might be a bit more flexible on China if the market conditions were right.
But it’s not all bad news for Opel. One big part of the new partnership between Magna, GM, Sberbank and GAZ was to significantly expand Opel in the Russian market. Aside from that, Magna sees a future full of electric vehicles and wants Opel to be a leader in that area.
“I’m very confident that Magna will be amongst the leaders in selling and building electric cars,” Stronach said. Magna has asked the Canadian government for a $140 million loan to build a factory in Canada to produce electric cars. If successful, Stronach said that the company could begin mass producing electric cars in as little as three years.