Reports claim GM's boss is fed up with the speed of Opel's recovery, but insist it's not for sale
10 June 2011

General Motors has no plans to sell Opel/Vauxhall despite CEO Dan Akerson being “fed up” with the speed on the European firm’s recovery, industry sources have revealed.

“Akerson is fed up with Opel and the turnaround isn’t gaining traction,” one of the sources told Reuters.

But despite Akerson’s grievances, the sources dismissed reports in German media claiming Opel/Vauxhall was up for sale as “wishful thinking” and there was no formal sales process in place.

GM’s plans instead focus on “thinking of all possibilities to improve performance”. The US giant is determined to return Opel/Vauxhall to profitability after the division lost almost £1 billion in 2010. Opel/Vauxhall is, however, expected to break even this year and return to profit in 2012.

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Opel boss Karl-Friedrich Stracke yesterday dismissed the original sale reports, which cited no sources, as “pure speculation”. The reports had claimed that Volkswagen Group and several Chinese firms were interested in buying Opel/Vauxhall from GM.

Despite GM’s apparent frustrations with Opel/Vauxhall, the sources claim a future sale would be unlikely, due to the European firm’s close integration of its platforms and powertrains with the rest of GM’s worldwide operations.

Finding a European or Chinese partner would be a more likely scenario than a sale in the future, the sources added.

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GM failed to sell Opel/Vauxhall in 2009 after a lengthy process involving several failed bids and instead set upon turning the brands around itself.

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Akerson has previously said Opel/Vauxhall was still losing money despite making more cars and that there was still restructuring work to do, although progress was being made.

A German government source has also said it is not involved in any Opel sale talks.

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