Opel Plans Own Restructuring Plan to Avert Layoffs
General Motors Europe said on Wednesday it was prepared to discuss partnerships or outside investment for its Opel unit as pressure mounted on the government in Berlin to help rescue the German brand, Spiegel Online reported. But Chancellor Angela Merkel said Opel must first present a clear restructuring plan before her government can consider giving assistance. GM Europe's United States parent company on Tuesday night announced plans to reduce its global workforce by 47,000 jobs this year and to cut five additional American plants by 2012. It also said it needed up to $30 billion in government aid and that it would run out of cash as soon as March unless it gets fresh state funds. It has yet to give details about how its cutbacks will affect its European operations--Opel in Germany, Vauxhall in Britain and Saab in Sweden--but Opel fears mass redundancies and plant closures. The German company employs some 26,000 workers at four plants in Rüsselsheim, Bochum, Kaiserslautern and Eisenach. Management and labor representatives at Opel and GM Europe now plan to present their own restructuring plan, and they want to keep all options open--including a partial sale of Opel. Read more.