The German government has said it is still talking to other potential investors about taking over General Motors’ European divisions Opel and Vauxhall even though it has a preliminary agreement with Austrian-Canadian car parts group Magna.
The German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg stressed nothing has been finalised. He said rival suitors cannot be ruled out: “It’s more than important to keep ties with other potential investors and those who are interested in (keeping) the European GM structures alive. It’s certain that negotiations are taking place right now between Magna and GM, but as we all know, negotiations can also fail.” The German economy minister spoke at a joint news conference after talks with British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson in Berlin. Mandelson also met Magna’s bosses and offered taxpayer-funded state aid to try to secure the 5,000 jobs at Vauxhall in the UK, but he got no guarantees. Meanwhile there are reports that the Chinese carmaker Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation may want to buy Volvo from Ford and will examine the Swedish firm’s books soon.