General Motors drops bids for European aid for Opel
General Motors has dropped its applications for state aid from European governments for Opel, and will restructure its European carmaking business using its own resources, Opel said Wednesday, DPA reported.
Opel had asked the governments for 1.9 billion euros (2.3 billion dollars) to save its car factories after its US parent declared bankruptcy last year. GM restructured and later recovered.
Germany last week turned down an application by General Motors for 1.1 billion euros (1.3 billion dollars) in loan guarantees to help Opel factories lay off 20 per cent of their staff and modernize to make a range of fresh models.
Britain, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Poland had said they would aid their own Opel and Vauxhall factories with a further 800 million euros, but only if Germany did the heavy lifting.
An Opel spokesman at its head office in Ruesselsheim, west of Frankfurt, said all the applications were thus being dropped.
There will be no plant closures or layoffs over and above those Opel announced at the start of this year, he said. Those measures called for Opel to lay off 8,300 of its 48,000 employees in Europe and close a plant in Antwerp, Belgium.
Chief executive Nick Reilly, who had said that he was disappointed by Germany's refusal, has been pushing for a plan to invest 11 billion euros into the company until 2014, updating 80 per cent of the Opel model range.