Opel labour leader Klaus Franz hopes General Motors Corp's (GMGMQ.PK) planned sale of a majority stake in the German carmaker to a consortium led by Magna (MGa.TO) will make it a more attractive partner for rivals.


Five years from now, if we reach an agreement with Magna, the auto companies could find us interesting for strategic partnerships, Franz said on Thursday evening during an event hosted by corporate governance institute ICCA.


The deputy chairman of Opel's supervisory board and head of its European works council believes carmakers would be better served by cooperating in research and development or purchasing instead of aiming for mega-mergers, which typically lead to thousands of job cuts.


Whereas France's Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) and Germany's BMW (BMWG.DE) achieve economies of scale through partnerships that still preserve their independence, Fiat (FIA.MI) has been willing to spin off its auto business after first forging a transatlantic automotive empire with some 6 million vehicles in annual sales.


Fiat had bid to acquire Opel, a deal that Franz repeatedly opposed.


Franz also reaffirmed his calls for Opel employees to gain more than a 10 percent stake in their own company as part of a deal with Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank (SBER.RTS).


I am not satisfied with just that. We bring in more than that, he said, referring to $1.2 billion in cost cuts that labour is willing to contribute.