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Talks over Vauxhalls future break down

  • Talks end without agreement
  • GM wants more money
  • Pressure on UK Government to step in
Words By David Motton

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Night-long talks over the future of Vauxhall and Opel broke down this morning without the German government naming its preferred new owner of the troubled car makers.

General Motors (GM), the parent company of Vauxhall and Opel, is reported to have surprised German ministers by asking for an extra 300m euros in short-term funding.

The German government has asked for more information from the US Treasury and from GM before it comes to a decision. However, the field has narrowed overnight from four bidders to just two. Only Italian car maker Fiat and Canadian car parts group Magna remain in the frame.

Pressure is growing on the UK government to be more closely involved in the decision-making process, with around 5500 jobs on the line at Vauxhalls Ellesmere Port and Luton plants. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has had reassurances from Fiat and Magna that a new-look Vauxhall/Opel would retain a manufacturing presence in the UK, but job cuts across GM Europes 50,000-strong workforce seem inevitable, whoever takes over.

The clock is ticking on the US governments June 1 deadline for GM to restructure or declare itself bankrupt.