GM to Delay Opel Decision Until October?

General Motors plans to delay the Opel decision until October, a German newspaper reported today citing sources close to the matter. This means that the new Opel owner will be announced after the German elections on September 27, contrary to the expectations of German officials who hoped to find out the name of the new investor this month. Furthermore, Chancellor Angela Merkel, a strong supporter of Magna International, pressured General Motors to pick a buyer as soon as possible before the federal elections later this month.

An earlier report indicated that the former US bankrupt automaker plans to delay a decision until later this year because the company does not want to damage Merkel's image. General Motors is favoring RHJ whose offer is easier to implement because it involves less government participation.

The German business daily Handelsblatt wrote today that GM is pushing a decision through October, in spite of reports that the company's board is willing to issue a statement these days. Furthermore, German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said yesterday that a decision could be made as soon as today.

"We're still negotiating toward an investor solution -- that is an industry-based plan which will be valid in the longer term," he said according to a report by Reuters.

But General Motors might indeed pick RHJ as the Belgium investor recently revised its bid and even reduced the amount of government-backed funds to support the acquisition.

"RHJ had already stated it was trying to optimize the financial aspect of its offer and it will continue to make every effort wherever possible to reduce the impact on German and European taxpayers without making any new cuts in employment, planned investments or anything else," an RHJ spokesman said.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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