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GM May Be Ready to Dump Opel

Faltering turnaround has GM exploring its options.

by on Jun.10, 2011

Opel could be up for sale again.

Hints that General Motors is thinking about dumping Opel are circulating again, especially in Germany, where the maker is based.

Concerns about Opel’s future were initially touched off as GM plunged into bankruptcy and came close to selling off a majority stake in the European subsidiary. Ultimately, GM decided to hold onto Opel but, earlier this week, CEO Dan Akerson declared that Chevrolet would become the carmaker’s lead global brand, a position that once was reserved for Opel.

Now, the German news magazine Der Spiegel, one of Europe’s most influential and authoritative publications, reports GM appears to be getting ready to sell Opel off again after backing out of the 2009 deal that would have turned control of the German operation over to a troika that included Magna and Russian bankers and investors.

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However, Der Speigel said GM’s top management, namely Chairman and chief executive officer Akerson, are growing impatient with the lack of progress in regaining profitability. Opel has steadily lost money for the better part of a decade but the problems were always overshadowed by the larger issues looming over the parent company back in Detroit.