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Oracle of Delphi

GM to EU governments: Help!

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US carmaker asks Germany for €1 billion-plus and seeks funds in UK, Belgium and Sweden!

John Revill

Automotive News Europe

November 24, 2008 06:01 CET

General Motors Europe is reaching out beyond Germany in search of government help to avoid a liquidity crisis if its US parent goes bankrupt.

Informal approaches are being made to governments in Poland, Belgium, Spain and the UK, Automotive News Europe has learned.

GM has car assembly factories in all of the countries where it seeks aid.

Last week, GM Europe's management met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ask for more than €1 billion in loan guarantees to finance the development and assembly facilities of its Opel subsidiary in Germany if GM goes bankrupt.

Positive feedback from UK

Meanwhile, British MP Andrew Miller said there had been contact between GM and the UK government.

He said the talks likely involve support for funding to develop environmentally friendly vehicles.

Said Miller: "If the recession continues and it becomes necessary for GM to have financial support in the UK, it is something I would support."

Miller represents Ellesmere Port in northwest England, where GM builds the Astra lower-medium car.

GM also has made contact with the government in Sweden, the home country of GM's Saab brand.

Jan-Ake Jonsson, Saab managing director, said both Saab and Volvo have talked with the Swedish government. He declined to say whether Saab has asked for money or loan guarantees in the talks.

GM insiders say local officials have been talking to European governments to find out what help might be available.

"Where we have a large manufacturing presence we want to talk to the governments," a GM source told ANE.

Rudi Kennes, vice chairman of GM's union, said he was speaking to GM management in Belgium about approaching the Belgian government for funding to support the carmaker's plant in Antwerp.

He said the talks focused on bringing forward Antwerp's production start date for a Corsa-based small SUV, which has been postponed by a year to 2012.

An investment of €100 million to €120 million will be needed to bring the launch date of the vehicle forward to January 2011.

"We need this money to ensure the long-term future of the Antwerp factory," Kennes said.

On November 17, GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster, Opel Managing Director Hans Demant and Klaus Franz, chairman of Opel's works council, met with Germany's Merkel in Berlin.

Franz said Opel had to assume that its cash flow would be frozen if GM applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

"At the moment we're solvent, but we need a state guarantee to refinance our investments," he said, referring to 20 new models GM Europe plans to introduce by 2012.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20081124/ANE03/811239900

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Some $h!ty bank here in Portugal woke up to figure out it needed EUR 750 million last week. I have decided I'll go to the Government and ask for the same amount of money... one has to take advantage of this while the Giving / Christmas Spirit is present in the minds of politicians :smilewide:

Edited by ZL-1
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Yeah, you're right, GMNA is sinking the ship! :smilewide: Back @ u!

That was my point and guess who's coming along for the ride (against their will)

Kinda like a $5 hooker that you pick up and shove in the trunk. (To use a variation on your words)

What was that about GME being a profitable business that was successful and moving away from GMNA again?

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