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General Motors decides to keep Vauxhall and Opel

Despite months of negotiations with various investors, General Motors has decided to retain ownership of its GM Europe division which includes Vauxhall and Opel. The Vauxhall operation in particular is vital to the UK economy with some 5000 jobs hanging on the outcome of this wrestle for ownership which is only that a very early stage. So what exactly is going on?

With over half of GM Europe's workforce based in Germany, amounting to 25,000 employees, the German government has been very keen to play a major role in the future of Vauxhall and Opel. However, while this U-turn by General Motors, which could ultimately see GM Europe returned to the General Motors fold, would appear to be a done and dusted deal, there is the small matter of the trustee board to overcome yet.

Two of the four trustee members are representatives of the German government and highly likely to resist any bid by General Motors to take back control of GM Europe. The German government also appears to have significant union backing with talk of strike action if their thoughts and hopes are not taken into account. While we await the official announcement it seems certain that this particular story still has some way to run.

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