General Motors (GM) is mulling over its earlier plans to try to sell its European unit Opel GmbH - 18 months after having dropped them following months of negotiations with potential buyers.
Auto Bild and Spiegel Online yesterday said that the GM may once revive plans to sell Opel and the likely buyers could be Germany's Volkswagen and Chinese carmakers.
GM decided in late 2008 to sell its main European business after it announced a group-wide loss of $30.9 billion as sales plummeted during the global recession.
Once the world's largest carmaker, GM, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection before emerging from it in July 2009 following a $52-billion bail-out by the US government.
In November 2009, citing an improving business environment, the Detroit-based carmaker had called off plans to sell Opel to Canadian car-parts maker Magna International and its Russian partner, Sberbank. (See: GM says 'No' to Magna; decides to keep Opel)
GM undertook a massive restructuring at Opel's closed plant in Antwerp, Belgium in early 2010, eliminating 2,606 jobs, but still lost $1.6 billion last year.
Opel's headquarters and the largest of its four plants are located in Rüsselsheim in Germany, while its other European plants are in Spain, Poland and a Vauxhall plant in the UK.
Opel employs a total of 54,000 workers across Europe, with 25,000 based in Germany, while in the UK, GM's Vauxhall employs 5,500 people across two plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port.
In its previous bid to sell Opel, Italian carmaker Fiat, Chinese firm Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co and Beligium's RHJ Holdings International were also in the race to buy Opel.