NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Opel's future remains unclear after Berlin meeting

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Opel's future remains unclear after Berlin meeting

May 13, 2010 06:01 CET

BERLIN (Reuters) -- A German committee that met on Wednesday on the issue of state help to Opel made progress, the Economy Ministry said, but it was unclear whether it would support the aid request for the General Motors Co. unit.

Any decision on state aid is likely to be made by senior members of the government, in conjunction with the states affected by Opel's restructuring. As many as 120,000 jobs in Germany alone will be affected by the decision.

But the committee must first establish whether German government officials find responses submitted by the company sufficient before further decisions can be made.

The Loan Guarantee Committee met in the ministry to discuss Opel's request for 1.5 billion euros ($1.89 billion) in state aid three days after the ruling center-right coalition suffered a bitter defeat in a key regional election.

"The loan guarantee committee met today on the Opel application and pressed ahead with the decision process," the ministry said, without giving any details on the talks.

Preconditions before Germany offers aid include proof that the company fell into difficulty no earlier than the summer of 2008 as a direct result of the financial crisis, as well as locating banks willing to finance the loans.

'Great expectations'

"PricewaterhouseCoopers, the economics ministry's own independent expert, certified Opel was profitable until September 2008 and moreover has a positive future thanks to its new model range," Opel Deputy Chairman Klaus Franz told Reuters, warning that 120,000 jobs in Germany depended on the carmaker.

"I await the outcome with both great hope and great expectations."

Liberal Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle has, however, often signaled his reluctance to approve a federal contribution to any aid package.

Opel CEO Nick Reilly, who expects a final answer from Berlin by the end of this month, said on Friday generous contributions from other main Opel countries -- likely Spain and the UK -- meant Germany might be on the hook for less than 1.3 billion euros.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100513/ANE/305129898/1193#ixzz0nos6NdJ9

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Opel's future remains unclear after Berlin meeting

May 13, 2010 06:01 CET

BERLIN (Reuters) -- A German committee that met on Wednesday on the issue of state help to Opel made progress, the Economy Ministry said, but it was unclear whether it would support the aid request for the General Motors Co. unit.

Any decision on state aid is likely to be made by senior members of the government, in conjunction with the states affected by Opel's restructuring. As many as 120,000 jobs in Germany alone will be affected by the decision.

But the committee must first establish whether German government officials find responses submitted by the company sufficient before further decisions can be made.

The Loan Guarantee Committee met in the ministry to discuss Opel's request for 1.5 billion euros ($1.89 billion) in state aid three days after the ruling center-right coalition suffered a bitter defeat in a key regional election.

"The loan guarantee committee met today on the Opel application and pressed ahead with the decision process," the ministry said, without giving any details on the talks.

Preconditions before Germany offers aid include proof that the company fell into difficulty no earlier than the summer of 2008 as a direct result of the financial crisis, as well as locating banks willing to finance the loans.

'Great expectations'

"PricewaterhouseCoopers, the economics ministry's own independent expert, certified Opel was profitable until September 2008 and moreover has a positive future thanks to its new model range," Opel Deputy Chairman Klaus Franz told Reuters, warning that 120,000 jobs in Germany depended on the carmaker.

"I await the outcome with both great hope and great expectations."

Liberal Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle has, however, often signaled his reluctance to approve a federal contribution to any aid package.

Opel CEO Nick Reilly, who expects a final answer from Berlin by the end of this month, said on Friday generous contributions from other main Opel countries -- likely Spain and the UK -- meant Germany might be on the hook for less than 1.3 billion euros.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100513/ANE/305129898/1193#ixzz0nos6NdJ9

Within 15 years Opel will be replaced by Chevrolet .... what will they think then?

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