The American owners of Vauxhall and Opel have ended months of uncertainty over the future of the european car makers. The General Motors board say they have taken the long-awaited decision after a two-day meeting, but they have not yet said what it is. First the company are briefing staff, potential buyers and the German government.
GM have 50,000 European workers. Half of them are employed in Germany, the rest in Britain, Belgium, Spain and Poland. Their future was thrown into doubt as General Motors in the US plummeted towards bankruptcy. One potential rescuer emerged in the form of the Canadian group Magna. Their bid, supported by Russian finance, came with the promise of 4.5 billion euros of public funding from Berlin. GM said in the past that a rival bid from the Brussels-based RHJ-International would be easier to implement, but there is no German government money attached to that offer. Some members of the GM board are known to have been against selling at all. Indeed one UK media report claims that is their decision, but the official news conference is scheduled for this afternoon.