Opel Completes Transformation into Stock Corporation
* Automaker now listed in Commercial Registry Darmstadt
* Next step in plan for future for long-term success
* Upswing for brand with eight percent increase in registrations
Rüsselsheim. As of today, Opel will once again operate as a stock corporation. The court in Darmstadt officially approved the application that was filed in November following the shareholder’s decision to pursue a change of the company’s legal form. The company is now officially registered as Adam Opel AG (“Aktiengesellschaft”) at the Darmstadt court.
“This is an excellent start to the new year for Opel and a further step in implementing our plan for the future, with which we will steer the company back into the black,” said Opel/Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly. “The AG is the appropriate legal form for a major industrial player the size of Opel with more than 40,000 employees in Europe. It firmly establishes a level playing field vis-à-vis major automotive competitors and further elevates standards of corporate governance and management accountability. The same principles of corporate governance were also introduced at New GM.”
“We are grateful to GM for their financial contribution. GM’s equity injection into Opel was a prerequisite for the transformation,” Reilly added. “The transformation into an AG is another element of our growth plan for Opel as it enhances the company’s public standing and reputation, and makes Opel more attractive as an employer of choice for existing and future employees.”
Klaus Franz, Head of the Works Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said, “The transformation into an AG signals a new start for the company. It was also one of the basic prerequisites for employees to agree to the restructuring program. In conjunction with our return to an AG employees will have more opportunities to contribute particularly in terms of product and investment planning on the Supervisory Board level. In addition, the legal form of an AG guarantees a high degree of transparency.”
There will be no changes to the management structure of the company. Nick Reilly will continue as CEO of Opel/Vauxhall. He is appointed Chairman of the Management Board. Management Board members are: Rita Forst, Engineering; Reinald Hoben, Manufacturing; Mark James, Finance; Holger Kimmes, Human Resources; Alain Visser, Sales, Marketing & Aftersales; Susanna Webber, Purchasing.
Walter G. Borst remains Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Klaus Franz will continue as Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Shares of Adam Opel AG will not be listed on the stock exchange; GM remains the sole owner of the company. There is no change to the company’s financial reporting as GM’s quarterly earnings reports will continue to include Opel financials.
Opel is a German company steeped in tradition. Founded by Adam Opel in 1862 in Rüsselsheim, the company still maintains its headquarters there today. Opel has been building automobiles since 1899, and became an AG in 1929. In late 2005 the company was transformed into a GmbH (PLC). The heart of the brand in Rüsselsheim is the International Technical Development Center (ITDC), where over 6,000 engineers, technicians and designers ensure that every Opel gets its own distinctive, brand-typical identity.
Opel has announced that it will invest around 11 billion Euros in the next five years. One billion of that is designated solely for the development of innovative and fuel-saving engines and transmissions.
The new product portfolio is gaining wide-spread popularity: the current models Insignia, Astra and Meriva have already won more than 50 European awards and are enjoying growing success on the market. In the second half of 2010, the brand also surged ahead in Germany, increasing market share by eight percent. Opel market share in December was 10.35 percent, the highest the brand has reached in over four years.
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