Equity stake statement raises concerns in UK car industry
19 February 2009

General Motors has rushed to deny rumours that it intends to sell Vauxhall, which employs around 5000 people in the UK, at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire and in Luton.

The company released a statement yesterday that caused concern in the UK car industry. "Management is willing to consider strategic third-party partnerships, alliances and equity stakes, in case such an approach is seen as beneficial for GM Europe and Opel/Vauxhall's viable and sustainable future."

UK car unions were alarmed that this implied GM might remove support from Vauxhall in the same way that it has done from Saab. The company has already made clear that it does not intend to support Saab from its own funds.

"This is all about Opel," said Denis Chick, communications director for GM UK. "It's not Vauxhall. They always refer to us as Opel/Vauxhall, but this is about a stake in Opel being hived off to the German government to get more money into the business."

Yesterday Swedish industry minister Maud Olofsson said she was "deeply disappointed" by General Motors attitude to Saab. "They have in practice removed their hands," she said. "They are handing over responsibility to Swedish taxpayers."

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
    First Drive
    19 March 2018
    The Mercedes-Benz E-Class could be all the estate car you’ll ever want — or it could be overkill. Let’s see which...
  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?