Merkel Urges GM to Present Opel Plan

Fritz Henderson, GM CEO, traveled to Germany on Monday to discuss with the involved officials the Opel restructuring process but even so, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges the US-based manufacturer to present its intentions as soon as possible. Furthermore, she says that General Motors must support most of the costs of the reorganization and emphasized that Opel's workers are expecting a strong plan to preserve jobs.

"We expect GM to present a reliable plan for Opel quickly," she was quoted as saying by Reuters. "This solution can only work if GM takes over the lion's share of the restructuring costs, which also means that it has to pay back the bridge loan," Merkel added when talking about the possibility to provide financial support to General Motors.

According to various sources, GM has already started negotiating state funds for Opel's reorganization, with some countries expressing their support just after the company announced its decision to keep the brand.

"We have noted GM's announcement today and want to work closely with GM to understand their plan for the business and what it means for the UK,"
a Department for Business spokesman said. "We have always said that if the right long-term, sustainable solution is identified, then the government would be willing to provide funding to this."

However, this doesn't mean that the UK is ready to grant the funds without any negotiation and Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has already asked for an early sight on Opel's restructuring plan.

"I think our own Vauxhall workforce would prefer to keep with the management they know rather than take a chance with a management that they don't,"
Mandelson was quoted as saying by Reuters. "But whatever happens, we must see an appropriate, commercially based judgment being applied to redundancies which will take place in the context of restructuring."
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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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