FRANKFURT -- Opel will continue to cooperate closely with General Motors Co. after Magna International Inc. takes over the German carmaker, Opel Chairman Carl-Peter Forster said.
"It remains important for us that Opel keeps close ties with General Motors," Forster said when he launched the new Astra compact car at the Frankfurt auto show.
Forster said GM and Opel will continue to cooperate in areas such as technology and purchasing to achieve "economies of scale that will benefit both companies."
GM is selling a majority stake in Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall to Canadian parts supplier Magna and Russian state lender Sberbank, while keeping 35 percent for itself.
Forster welcomed Magna's takeover of Opel. "We look forward to working with Magna and its partners. We know there is a lot of work to be done in the next few months and in the next few years but we see a great future, " Forster said.
Under the sale terms GM will fill four of Opel's key management positions, including the product development and sales and marketing positions, for the first three years. Magna-Sberbank will appoint the other four, including the CEO.
Opel can operate restriction-free in any market worldwide except for the United States, China and South Korea but the company will concentrate most of its people and financial resources in western Europe where it can make most money in the short-term.
The German government will provide $4.5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in financing to carry the German-based automaker through a restructuring period in addition to the 1.5 billion euros it loaned Opel in May. Other European governments with significant Opel operations are being asked cover some of that amount.
Magna aims to make Opel profitable by 2011 with the carmaker repaying the government loans used to back the deal by 2014 and paying dividends by 2015.