Government could support Vauxhall

* Financial assistance could be forthcoming * Four bidders for Vauxhall/Opel * German government to decide on preferred bidder...

Government could support Vauxhall

The UK Government could spend public money to secure the future of Vauxhall.

Lord Mandelson, the UK's Business Secretary, said the Government has not ruled out a financial contribution to support Vauxhalls factories at Ellesmere Port and Luton, as well as 5000 workers.

Vauxhalls parent company, the ailing US giant General Motors, is looking to sell off Vauxhall and Opel. Four bidders have joined the race for GMs European arm: Chinas Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC) is the latest bidder, which is competing with Fiat, Magna and RHJ.

The German government has taken a keen interest in the bidding process, since Opel employs 25,000 people in Germany and has its headquarters in the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to announce Germanys preferred bidder later today, and is likely to support the bid which plans the least job cuts in Germany.

With financial support for the winning bid almost certain from Germany, the UK Government is under pressure to make its own contribution to make sure British factories dont bear the brunt of the new owners cost-cutting plans.