General Motors has decided not to sell Opel/Vauxhall in a shock about turn in car industry history. The deal with Magna had looked certain for months with only financing details being the outstanding issue from the deal going ahead, but General Motors have decided not to sells as “the business environment in Europe has improved”. In the statement confirming its intentions, GM CEO Fritz Henderson said GM's aim is to "secure the best long-term solution for our customers, employees, suppliers and dealers, which are reflected in the decision reached today."
Car analysts said they were not too surprised by GM's announcement. "GM never really wanted to get rid of Opel, they were being forced into it because of their financial situation," said Aaron Bragman of IHS Global Insight. "A lot of GM cars have come out of Opel's engineering, so Opel provides a very useful service for GM globally.”Maintaining that foothold there is something that is beneficial for GM in the long run."
However, the German media is already questioning how easy it will be for GM to simply cancel the sale agreement. This is because when GM went into administration, ownership of Opel and Vauxhall was transferred to a trust, headed by two representatives of GM, two from the German government and one independent panel member.
Opel employs a total of 54,000 workers across Europe, with 25,000 based in Germany. In the UK its Vauxhall brand employs 5,500 people across two plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port. Tony Woodley, secretary general of Unite, told the BBC that GM's news was an "incredible turnaround".