GM Dismisses Opel Sale Rumors

In response to rumors that it may be in talks with Fiat again, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) reiterated today that its European Opel brand is not for sale.

An Italian newspaper said earlier Friday Fiat was looking to relaunch talks with GM about acquiring German auto maker Opel. Citing no sources, Il Sole 24 Ore said Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne wanted to snap up Opel at zero cost, but that no proposal had been formally presented to GM yet.

GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said in a statement that Opel remains a fully integrated part of GM's global footprint and is vital for GM's future success in Europe.

Fiat made a bid for Opel in 2009 when GM put the unit up for sale as part of its wide-ranging restructuring efforts. But German labor unions and politicians fiercely opposed the deal due to concerns about large-scale job cuts because both Fiat and Opel suffer from excess production capacity in Europe.

GM's board decided to keep Opel. The Detroit automaker has restructured the unit's management and prepared a comprehensive turnaround plan for the division that includes an alliance with French peer PSA Peugeot-Citroen.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos, International Markets, Rumors Tagged: GM