German state governors press GM on Opel future

AP News

5/11/2012 10:11:22 AM - AP News

A group of German state governors is urging General Motors Co. to open up global markets for its struggling European brand, Opel, amid ongoing unease about cost-cutting plans.

GM Europe lost $700 million in 2011 and company officials have expressed their determination to turn around the Opel and Vauxhall brands. They have rejected speculation that the company may decide in the near term on plant closures, but worries have persisted.

The governors of the four German states where Opel has plants issued a joint statement Friday that said they "stand together behind the German Opel facilities." They called for GM to "open global markets for the Opel brand."

Mass-market carmakers such as Opel face a tough market in Europe amid intense competition, weak prices and economic troubles.