Battle for Vauxhall revs up

Little more than a week before its restructuring deadline, three offers for General Motors' European business are being vetted and one of China's "big three" automotive groups is also showing an interest.

On Wednesday, Fiat, Magna and RHJ International all tabled formal bids for GM Europe (GME) – the division which includes Germany's Opel and Vauxhall Motors in the UK. The Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation missed the deadline but is reportedly sounding out options.

Although not tipped as a winner, a non-Western buyer might prove a safer choice for GME staff. Garel Rhys, of Cardiff Business School, said: "A Chinese company buying GME would not have the same rationalisation agenda as someone like Fiat. GME would be a bridgehead into Europe and overcapacity would be seen as an opportunity."