GM is “very disappointed” that the German government has thrown out a request for 1.1 billion euros of state aid for Opel, but has vowed to fill the funding gap with other borrowings.
“I am struggling to understand the thinking behind this decision, and we are very disappointed after such a very long process,” said Opel/Vauxhall chair Nick Reilly.
A committee of four experts was split 50/50 over the loan, leaving German economy minister Rainer Bruederle with the casting vote.
Reilly said he disagreed with the two main reasons – that it wasn’t the role of EU governments to support the car industry and that GM has enough money to fund Opel on its own.
“Last year the EU supported the auto industry to the tune of 8.5 billion euros and Opel received none of that. That’s EU governments supporting the car industry,” said Reilly.
The recent crisis in the Eurozone and German bail-out of Greece, were significant contributing factors, he added. “If we’d been doing this earlier in the year, I think we’d have had a different outcome,” said Reilly.