Vauxhall/Opel could go to Belgian firm RHJ
14 July 2009

RHJ International is promising to keep two Vauxhall plants in the UK open as part of its bid for the European arm of General Motors, it has been revealed.

Autocar reported last week that GM was moving away from selling Vauxhall and Opel to a consortium of Magna and Sberbank over fears it would asset-strip technology to start up a domestic car industry in Russia.

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A deal with RHJ could also leave the door open for GM to buy back the two brands in the future.

RHJ, a Brussels-listed industrial holding, is reported to be at an “advanced stage” of talks with the American car maker.

As part of the package, RHJ is promising to repay all state-backed loans to Opel by 2015 and has been in talks with the governments of the European countries in which GM has plants.

Lord Mandelson, the UK's business secretary, is said to have linked any future financial aid with continued production at Vauxhall’s plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port.

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