That will ultimately be the question asked about what kind of a future the German carmaker Opel faces.

Parent General Motors said on Thursday that it indeed wanted to sell a majority stake in the unit to Canadian auto parts group Magna and Russia's Sberbank, a decision long favoured by the German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

With about two weeks to go until a general election in Europe's biggest economy, this would clearly be a political victory - but the question remains whether it will also be an economic one.

Merkel said that GM's recommendation - which would see Magna's Brussels-listed rival bidder RHJ International losing out in the battle that has dragged on for months - is going to be tied to conditions.

Although she said that those conditions would be manageable and negotiable, doubts remain about whether this will be the new beginning the company is hoping for.

The most meaningful choice would have been a global company that produces several millions of cars (per year), such as GM or a Chinese producer. Magna is not a producer of cars in the classic sense, and I could imagine that some other producers could be upset about the decision. As a consequence, Opel may lose some contracts, said NordLB analyst Frank Schwope.

This seems to be a political decision rather than an economical one.

What do you think?