The new business model would depart from simply using the Opel brand to develop new vehicles and sell them under the same brand. Instead, Magna is supposedly considering using Opel's infrastructure to build vehicles for non-GM automakers that would be based on Opel’s existing platforms. Opel branded cars would also be manufactured, but likely not sold, alongside these cars in Opel's plants, reports Automotive News.
The plan is a simple formula in essence - more platform sharing and overall homogenisation of what lies beneath a car's skin will massively reduce costs for all involved, and will help auto companies survive the current crisis affecting the auto industry.
While Magna will have to pay GM to use its intellectual property for producing the cars, it has already been agreed that should the bid be successful the fees for this would be reduced. This would enable Magna to offer auto companies a chance to outsource their manufacturing and use existing GM platforms. Reportedly, PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Ford have both expressed interest in such an arrangement.
Whether or not Magna will follow through with this business plan still remains uncertain but already detractors have pointed out that the crisis facing the auto industry is not a matter of designing and building new vehicles, but rather getting more customers into current vehicles.
Magna is currently the lead bidder for Opel and has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner with the GM subsidiary. Together with its partner, Russian bank Sherbank, Magna hopes to control up to 55% of Opel.