The rumors about the possible sale of Opel, the European unit of General Motors, are getting more complicated by the minute. Volkswagen AG's CEO Martin Winterkorn commented about the issue recently, something that General Motors considers “regrettable.”
Winterkorn said in Wednesday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Hyundai Motor Co. won’t have any interest in buying Opel and that Chinese automakers would be the ones who want access to Opel's technical center and distribution network.
Winterkorn also stated that it won’t be a wise move to let go of 5,000 engineers at this time when many companies are looking for such people. In a statement, GM said that Winterkorn’s comments fan speculation at a time when Opel is making “solid progress in its restructuring, in generating improved operating results.”
The rumors started in the early part of June in Germany, speculating about the potential buyers. Volkswagen and several Chinese car companies were mentioned.
Last June 30, Opel Chairman Nick Reilly said GM was "very satisfied" with the progress that Opel has been experiencing but it wouldn’t directly deny a sale, stating only that it won’t comment on speculation.
In 2009, GM was negotiating for the sale of Opel but it suddenly decided to withdraw this plan. Instead, it moved to restructure the unit to get it on the road to recovery.