The shockwave created by GM’s decision to hang on to Opel is washing around the carmaker’s European plants. Months of talks now seem to have been in vain, and the future is uncertain once more. If GM keeps Opel, it will probably be at the price of restructuring.
Which of the giant’s plants will get the chop? Workers in Britain, Spain, Poland and Belgium are anxious, and their German colleagues are not in the clear should GM wield the axe. Does this mean the hard-won deal saving 300 million euros a year and taking a wages freeze still stands, saving their jobs? Workers have long argued the Magna takeover was only encouraged because of the German elections, and GM’s hope the company’s collapse could be used to lever more subsidy euros out of Brussels. Germany will now be seeking repayment of some 1.5 billion euros in bridging loans, and Berlin said it too regretted GM’s decision.