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GM Finally Settles On Buyer For Opel, Vauxhall

General Motors has finally annointed Magna International Inc., a Canadian car parts conglomerate and its Russian bank partner, Sberbank as the buyers for 55 percent of the shares in its European operation that produces Opel cars in Germany and Vauxhalls in the UK.

GM will still own a 35 percent stake and employees will own the remaining 10 percent.

Magna have always been the favoured bidder with the German government, even after receiving a last minute increased offer from the other final contenders, RHJ International.

Magna have undertaken not to close any plants nor dispense with any jobs at Opel, but they have not made the same commitment to the British government who are now seeking urgent talks with senior Vauxhall management to abate plant closures and further job losses in the UK.

The main UK plant at Ellesmere Port is slated to produce GM’s proposed all-electric car, the Ampera, and it is expected that some hard bargaining will ensue between Vauxhall and the government over who pays for a national public network of battery charging centres.

Naturally Vauxhall wants the public purse to fund it, but at what cost and guarantees?

Let the bargaining begin!