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Spiegel: Fiat won't close Opel plants

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Spiegel: Fiat won't close Opel plants
Photo: DPA
10:15 CEST+02:00
Italian carmaker Fiat is prepared to guarantee that Germany's four Opel plants will stay open if it takes over the troubled General Motors subsidiary, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Monday.

“It has been made clear that the debts of the Fiat group will not be brought into the marriage,” an insider at the Turin-based automaker told the magazine. “These past burdens will not endanger the project.”

But Fiat will not be able to guarantee the German factories will continue producing at current levels, Der Spiegel added.

According to the Fiat insider, the idea to merge with Opel came from embattled US auto giant General Motors.

“They are presenting a very radical action plan for Opel and clearly seek an urgent solution for the problem at GM Europe,” the source told the magazine.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called possible Opel talks with Canadian auto parts manufacturer Magna an “interesting option,” daily Financial Times Deutschland reported.

Debt-ridden Fiat's interest in an Opel merger has been met with scepticism from German trade unions and politicians, and Steinmeier agreed with Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg that a premature deal should be avoided.

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