GM’s Henderson apologises for Opel U-turn

GM’s Henderson apologises for Opel U-turn
Photo: DPA
Fritz Henderson, the CEO of US carmaker General Motors, apologised late on Tuesday evening for how the company handled reversing its decision to sell its troubled German unit Opel.

“We deeply regret how the process of the past few weeks turned out,” he told public broadcaster ARD, explaining GM had not wanted to surprise anyone.

GM’s unexpected U-turn earlier this month kyboshed a deal selling Opel to Canadian car parts maker Magna and Russia’s Sberbank, sparking fury in Germany and protests by Opel workers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attacked GM on Tuesday for shirking its responsibility for Opel, which employs more than 50,000 people in Europe. After plumping heavily for the deal with Magna, she said it was now largely up to GM to restructure Opel on its own.

Henderson said he was “extremely thankful for the support the German state provided at the end of May” and announced GM would pay back a bridging loan of €1.5 billion this month.

The GM boss also said US executives would soon meet with Opel’s worker representatives to discuss “the impact on specific locations that we have here.”

Henderson said GM would seek support from other European governments not to play different countries against each other, but rather “meaningfully restructure the company to build a successful Opel business across Europe and Opel and Vauxhall in Britain.”

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.