Why Morgan Stanley's GM analysis matters

Edward Lapham is executive editor of Automotive News.

DETROIT -- Adam Jonas, the highly respected lead auto analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a research note this week that General Motors needs to get rid of its Opel subsidiary.

Jonas says GM’s European operations, including Opel, have lost $16 billion over the last 12 years and might well lose more than that over the next dozen years.

Pretty straightforward analysis.

But here’s the irony: The guy who was assigned to fix GM’s European operations is GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, who himself was once the highly respected lead auto analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Oh, snap!

The latest report was not the first time Morgan Stanley has said Opel/Vauxhall needs to be divested. But Girsky and his boss, GM CEO Dan Akerson, are adamant that Opel can be fixed and is not for sale.

It makes you wonder whether Girsky might see things differently if he were still at Morgan Stanley.