Investment boost for Vauxhall

General Motors today announced a major investment in its European car making operations, including Vauxhall in the UK.

The US giant unveiled a 1.9bn euro (£1.7bn) package for Opel/Vauxhall, more than trebling its previous investment pledge.



Opel/Vauxhall chief executive Nick Reilly said at the Geneva Motor Show that the move was a vote of confidence in the firm's long-term business strategy.



The company has cut jobs across Europe in recent months, including hundreds in the UK at its Luton van plant, although the Ellesmere Port car factory where Astras are made has not been hit.









Mr Reilly said: "GM's 1.9 billion euro commitment is the right course of action for Opel/Vauxhall and should clearly signal our determination to fix our business.

"Our call for the additional funding was approved by GM's senior management and supported by the GM board of directors. Meanwhile, we have shared this decision with the European Commission as well as the national and state governments involved.



"We hope that our strong commitment will be well received as a major milestone in our ongoing discussions about Government guarantees to cover the remaining gap.



"We greatly value the much-increased support from GM, particularly given the high-priority demands on their liquidity, not least the restructuring of GM's North American operations and coping with a continuously weak market in North America."



Ed Whitacre, chief executive of General Motors, added: "It is of vital importance for GM to demonstrate our commitment for our European operations.



"Beyond the purely financial aspects, we see this as a major step towards instilling renewed trust and confidence into Opel/Vauxhall's customers, employees, business partners, unions, dealers and European governments."



More than 8,000 jobs are being cut across Europe, including around 360 in Luton.

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