General Motors vows that its tightly knit product development partnership with Adam Opel AG will continue, despite GM's plans to sell a minority stake in the German automaker.
"Opel remains an integral and important part of GM's global operations and will continue as such in the future," GM said in a statement Friday, February 27.
Teams in Germany have produced GM's global compact and midsize vehicle platforms. The Buick LaCrosse coming this summer is the first U.S. vehicle built on the new midsize platform. The Chevrolet Cruze, due in mid-2010, will be built on the compact platform.
However, the final structure of the Opel spin off is far from certain. According to GM, it "remains open to discussions on partnerships, equity positions or other alignments that will strengthen the relative position of Opel/GM."
"Discussions are just really beginning in earnest," a GM representative said Friday.
GM created the spin off plan in an attempt to win financial aid for Opel from several European governments. GM requested 3.3 billion euros (about $4.21 billion) to remedy a cash crisis at Opel but faced resistance because Opel is a subsidiary of a U.S. company.
GM Europe plans to form a joint-stock company for Opel and British sister brand Vauxhall. GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster told a news conference Friday that the new company will remain linked to GM while letting outside investors take a stake of more than 25 percent.
GM has owned Opel since 1929.
(Source: Automotive News)