Fiat Still Wants Opel, GM Says Not for Sale

An Italian media account said Fiat is interested in a deal

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is denying reports that it may sell its loss-making European brand, Opel, to Italy’s Fiat (PINK:FIATY).

The American automotive giant said on Friday that Opel is “not for sale” and remains a “integrated part of GM’s global footprint,” Reuters noted.

Behind the September Auto Sales Numbers
Behind the September Auto Sales Numbers

Shares of General Motors rose almost 3% in early Friday trading.

Talk of a potential sale was sparked by a report in the Italian newspaper Il Sole-24 that cited unnamed sources who said that Fiat was prepared to acquire Opel if its current alliance with Peugeot were to collapse.

GM dismissed speculation that its alliance with the French automaker was in trouble, calling the Opel-Peugeot partnership “fully on track.”

Fiat indicated a desire to purchase Opel in 2009, but GM entered into talks with Magna International (NYSE:MGA), a major auto parts manufacturer based in Canada. Those discussions ultimately went nowhere.

In 2009, Fiat purchased a controlling stake in third-ranked U.S. automaker Chrysler, saving it from insolvency. Chrysler has since rebounded strongly, offsetting declining sales in Fiat’s native Italy and other European markets.

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