Currently reading: Britain ready to support GM
Mandelson has promised cash to secure Vauxhall’s future in the UK if GM backs Britain

Lord Mandelson has promised cash to secure Vauxhall’s future in the UK if General Motors is prepared to commit to Britain.

Speaking to Autocar at today’s SMMT conference, Mandelson said that tax payers money would be forthcoming after GM’s restructuring plans which are expected to be annouced by GM Europe boss Nick Reilly at the end of the month.

"Is Britain prepared to put up money?," he said. "Yes. But GM needs to have good news for Vauxhall in the UK if they are going to get tax payers money."

However Mandelson wouldn’t be drawn on whether rumours that £300 million would be made available.

"We haven’t been asked yet but it’s a negotiation."

Chas Hallett

Mandelson backs low-carbon tech

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jackjflash 24 November 2009

Re: Britain ready to support GM

"Opel has plants across Europe, and GM can seek aid from other countries where it operates, including Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and the U.K. Unlike in Germany, where GM's decision to abandon a deal with Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. was met with outrage, these other countries are more amenable to the U.S. company's continued stewardship of Opel.

That reality may give GM an incentive to spare plants in countries more open to extending aid. "The government didn't calculate that GM might go it alone" with Opel, said Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University. "Now they are boxed in a corner."

Oh the double edged sword that is politics...

"Ms. Merkel and fellow conservatives have been more circumspect. Her party has to win regional elections next May in North Rhine-Westphalia, traditionally a stronghold of the more left-leaning Social Democrats, to keep a majority in Germany's upper house of parliament. If it loses the state, Ms. Merkel's entire legislative agenda would be in jeopardy.

Some German state governors reacted angrily to the comments, accusing Mr. Bruederle of backing out of an agreement on the terms for Opel aid that they reached at a meeting in Berlin earlier this month."

Sounds like the union boys and state governors have Merkel between a rock and a hard place Cart. I guess Lord M is no worse off than Merkel, the plants in his country are much leaner and efficient already, so I suspect job loss in the UK will be minimal with or without financial assistance.