Back in 2009, United States car manufacturer General Motors put its German subsidiary Opel up for sale, because GM itself was faced with bankruptcy.
Now, General Motors is considering putting Opel up for sale again as management loses confidence its European arm will return to profitability, according to two German magazines.
The news magazine Der Spiegel said that GM managers are concerned it’s European division, which includes Opel and Britain’s Vauxhall, is struggling while the rest of the company has rebounded well. The reports said possible buyers could be Chinese carmakers or Germany’s Volkswagen.
However, an Opel spokesman dismissed the reports as “pure speculation.”
Opel chairman Klaus Franz has warned that such rumors could damage Opel’s image “enormously.”
The company’s works council has called on General Motors’ US headquarters to deny the rumors. Volkswagen had no comment.
Moreover, in an internal letter sent to staff that has been seen by Dow Jones Newswires, Karl-Friedrich Stracke said GM backed the view that reports of a sale were speculative.
“I’m asking myself why this issue is surfacing again now that Opel is back on the route to success,” Stracke wrote. “We proved that the company is on a very good way and therefore represents a great value for GM.”
Also, the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia, which are home to two of Opel’s four plants in the country, brushed off the reports.
“According to our information, that is nonsense,” a spokesman for Thuringia’s economy ministry said.
Anyway – one thing is clear. Opel is going bad and is losing money every day. Europe is the only remaining loss-making region for GM.