While General Motors dealers here in the States are awaiting 1,100 retail store losses, Opel/Vauxhall dealers in Europe have opted to take matters into their own hands. Euroda, the Opel/Vauxhall dealer association, is raising 500 million Euros ($667 million US dollars) in exchange for a 10-20% stake in the brand, plus representation on the brand's board of directors.

The 4,000 dealers will raise the money by contributing €150 for every vehicle sold for the next three years. Dealers realize that the move will be a tough one given the fact that Opel/Vauxhall sales are down 21.8% on the year, but the alternative is far less attractive. Without a brand, the 4,000 dealers would be forced to pick up a new franchise, sell and service only used vehicles, or close altogether.

The money raised by dealers would likely come in addition to the €3.3 million GM Europe is seeking from other European governments. Canadian supplier Magna and Italian automaker Fiat are among the entities vying for a chunk of GM's European operations. A buyer is expected to be announced as soon as next week.

[Source: Automotive News subs req'd]

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