A group of workers from the Opel factory in Antwerp, which parent company General Motors is closing this year, have disrupted the Brussels motor show.
About 60 workers formed a human chain around the Opel stand, and unfurled banners boasting about the factory’s modern equipment and the commitment of the 2600 workers to find a new owner and save their jobs. They received public applause.
A smaller group crossed the floor to mount a similar demonstration around the Saab stand, in solidarity with their colleagues, also owned by General Motors.
But there is better news for the Swedish carmaker as GM says it is close to signing a deal to sell it to Dutch firm Spyker. An agreement could be announced as early as today.
Spyker has a proud tradition stretching back to the mid 19th century when it was coachbuilder to the Dutch royal family. Today it is a niche producer of luxury sports cars, and is part-owned by the Convers financial group controlled by Russia’s Vladimir Antonov. Spyker says funding is in place to clinch the deal, but it may depend on successful negotiation of a 400 million euro loan from the European Investment bank.