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GM right to keep Opel, German politician says

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GM right to keep Opel, German politician says

NOVEMBER 4, 2009 13:30 CET

BERLIN (Reuters) -- General Motors Co. is right keep Opel, Dirk Pfeil, a member of the trust overseeing the German-based GM division, said.

"I consider it to be the right move," Pfeil said. "The chances to preserve as many jobs as possible are just as high as they would have been with Magna."

He added: "Magna would have been completely overwhelmed. Magna would have had enormous difficulties getting Opel back on the right track."

Pfeil is a Free Democrat politician who represents German states on the Opel Trust. The trust was set up in June to oversee Opel when the German government provided 1.5 billion loan guarantees to prevent Opel joining GM in bankruptcy.

In September, Pfeil abstained when the five-member trust initially agreed to GM selling a 55 percent stake in Opel to Magna International Inc. and its Russian partner Sberbank.

Manfred Wennemer, former CEO of Continental AG, was the only trust board member to vote against a sale to Magna.

Wennemer warned that Magna's plans for Opel were too ambitious and would lead the carmaker into bankruptcy.

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