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GM will present Opel restructuring plan in December

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GM will present Opel restructuring plan in December

NOVEMBER 19, 2009 - 12:31 PM ET

ZARAGOZA, Spain (Reuters) -- General Motors Co. will present a new viability plan for Opel in December as it aims to reduce capacity across Europe, GM Europe boss Nick Reilly said today.

GM plans to reduce its production across Europe by 20 percent to 25 percent, slightly less than the capacity of three plants, as part of its 3.3 billion euro ($4.9 billion) restructuring plan.

Reilly said it was too soon to say whether any production sites would be closed, but said the new scheme would not transfer production from Zaragoza to Eisenach in eastern Germany.

GM this month reversed a decision to sell a majority stake in Opel to a consortium led by Canadian supplier Magna International Inc.

"Our plan is very similar to Magna's. I don't think it's worse," Reilly, interim head of GM's European business, told reporters in Zaragoza, northern Spain, where Opel's largest plant is located.

Reilly, a Briton who is in charge of restructuring Opel until ex-GM Europe boss Carl-Peter Forster is replaced, has said GM could cut up to 10,000 of 50,000 jobs in Europe as part of GM's European overhaul.

Magna's deal, backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, had met with criticism by Spain for plans to transfer a chunk of production to Germany.

Reilly is due to meet Spain's Industry Minister, Miguel Sebastian, on Friday to seek state aid to help restructure Opel.

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