General Motors was meant to decide who would be the winning bidder for Opel last Friday. But it didn't. Instead, GM asked the German government for more information on federal financial assistance available to buyers. The German government would like Magna to take over Opel as it vowed to retain a huge chunk of jobs in Germany, but GM has given every indication of preferring Belgian investment fund RHJ.

GM wants to know how much money RHJ would get in case it was chosen to buy Opel. It looks like GM still has issues with Magna buying Opel and is looking for a way to choose RHJ and save at least a little face with the German government. If RHJ can get an attractive financial package from the feds, it can also save more jobs than it might be inclined to otherwise, and GM doesn't have to worry about Russian competitors using its own technology.

The German government wants none of it, though. It has called on the United States government to get GM to make a decision. That isn't likely to happen, but it shows how intense things are with Opel, politicians, labor and upcoming elections. On a side note, the BBC reported that part of GM's plan could include a buy-back option for Opel, which, if true, would probably make a lot more sense for RHJ than Magna.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]

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