Opel’s German dealerships have backed the idea of joining the carmaker’s workers in buying part of the struggling GM subsidiary.
The plan is that for every Opel car sold over the next three years, the dealers would pay 150 euros into a fund and the money would be used to take a minority stake in the company. Dealers throughout Europe – including for Vauxhall cars in Britain – could also take part. The main Opel union leader in Germany Klaus Franz said: “The most important thing is to send a signal to the public that the dealers and the employees believe in the future of their company, and that they’ll invest their money in it. And that won’t be peanuts, it’ll be some hundreds of millions.” The US parent company, General Motors, will only get the billions in European government aid it needs if those governments are satisfied Opel and Vauxhall are truly independent from Detroit. This partial buyout plan by dealer and workers could be one way of achieving that. The European dealers association will vote on the idea at a meeting on 15 May. If they all take part it could raise 400 million euros in fresh capital.