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Fiat in talks over GM's Europe business

Plans for Fiat to take over General Motor’s European business are moving forward after its chief executive Sergio Marchionne met Germany’s economy minister.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said the Italian carmaker wanted to take over Opel, but without running up any debt, reported BBC News.

But Canadian car parts supplier Magna International said it was also in talks with GM and German government officials about possibly taking a minority stake in Opel.

Zu Guttenberg said, after meeting Marchionne, that any deal would need short-term financing across Europe by the Italian carmaker of about 5-7bn euros (£4.45-6.24bn).

UK union opposes move

UK's Unite union said it opposed Vauxhall being taken over by Fiat - claiming it would be an "unmitigated disaster" that would cost jobs.

Professor Garel Rhys from the Cardiff Business School agreed that British jobs could be lost if the deal went ahead.
"General Motors has indicated they have three plants too many and those three plants too many are actually in Germany, or run by the Germans", he said.

"It could be that Fiat, knowing that the company is too big, would balk at taking on the Germans and might look for the softer option of closing a plant in the UK."

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