Auto task force claims it was surprised by GM's decision not to sell Opel/Vauxhall
19 November 2009

The Obama administration has claimed it was “completely surprised” by General Motors’ decision not to sell Opel/Vauxhall to Magna.

Ron Bloom, head of the White House auto taskforce that helped GM and Chrysler through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, “fully anticipated” the Magna deal to go through and was caught off guard when GM decided to keep Opel.

Opel boss hints UK plants are safe

The US government is now the majority shareholder of GM, but it wants the Detroit firm to keep its independence and make its own decisions, something highlighted in the Opel decision, said Bloom.

“They made their own decision and we're not going to try to get them to change it,” Bloom told Auto News Europe. “I guess we could have said something. We absolutely did not.”

Germany was particularly annoyed with GM’s decision and Bloom said the timing of the announcement was “politically awkward”, given that German chancellor Angela Merkel was in the US to meet with the president.

“Our friends in Germany were upset and we were most assuredly not glad they were upset,” he said. "In a perfect world, I would have known about it in advance. But you can't know about it in advance because it's a decision that happens in the boardroom. So, by definition, I couldn't know."

Bloom said his taskforce would not get involved with the proposed job cuts and plant closures in Europe, as that was a decision for GM to take.

Twitter - follow all the latest Vauxhall reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals