Over on General Motors' Europe "Driving Conversations" blog, VP John Smith has posted an update on the company's negotiations to sell a majority stake in Opel and Vauxhall. Although no final decision has been made yet, it's looking increasingly likely that the previous tentative agreement with Magna International may be usurped by a bid from RHJ International. This, despite the fact that the German government has been favoring the Magna bid because of the suppliers commitment to preserving jobs at German factories.

However, most of the money for the Magna bid is coming from the Russian government and Russian bank Sberbank. The involvement of multiple parties from different countries is making things difficult because of concerns with transferring intellectual property. GM's move to a global development process over the past decade means that Opel shares in much of the technology for hybrids, fuel cells and electric vehicles that the automaker has developed. For obvious competitive reasons, GM wants to retain control of much of that institutional knowledge, and the Belgian holding company seems to be much more amenable to that idea. Smith promises more updates in the coming weeks.

[Source: General Motors]


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