GM CFO to Europe: Give Us $4.68B or It's Lights Off

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm cfo to europe give us 4 68b or it s lights off

GM CFO Fritz Henderson and Euro-CEO Carl-Peter Forster have confirmed TTAC’s recent, union-fed suspicions that Vauxhall’s UK factory is facing extinction. The Daily Express reports that Fritz and Pete are using the same extortion tactics on the UK and European governments that proved so . . . lucrative in the U.S.

GM Europe’s chief operating officer Fritz Henderson said that governments across Europe, including the British, should step in immediately with cash to prevent the loss of 300,000 jobs. Mr Henderson said GM Europe needed a £2.9 billion injection to stave off collapse and finance the separation of Vauxhall and Opel from the beleaguered parent company. GM Europe’s chief executive Carl-Peter Forster said the closure of Vauxhall’s plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port on Merseyside would have to be considered if there was no support forthcoming from the Government.

“The next step would be the complete closure. Obviously that’s what we try and avoid. But if we don’t get support from the Government we will have to close down.”

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  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Mar 05, 2009

    sitting@home-I've read that when America broke away from England they flipped a number of conventions like which side of the road they drove on and the direction in which horse races were run (CCW vs CW). Bunter

  • T2 T2 on Mar 05, 2009

    -katie When Americans buy a Lexus ES, do they know they’re buying an overpriced Camry? More than likely not, but it’s with a brand that people trust. When I purchased an ES a few years ago, I did know, for one, that it shares the Camry platform. The Lex shares 70% of the parts with the Camry but I see that as an advantage over Mercedes or Jag say. It means that the cost of R & D on those parts has already been well financed and amortised on the manufacture of 400k Camrys that year. Costly research on parts that may not be visible, and for that matter on things most consumers don't care too much about, and yet Lexus owners get the benefit of all that development and testing for free. I noticed the ES was one of the few models that Lexus wasn't marketing in England at the time, so unless things have changed I can assume your test drive was here in NA ? Well, FYI the Lexus ES has multi-link suspension which gives it an outstanding handling ability. A Camry on the other hand has noticeable body roll when turning a corner, the absence of which is the first thing you should notice if you took an ES for a spin. More than that they also have the same base engine as the V6 Camry but with some performance tweaks which you won't see on the Camry. My first english car was an off lease Vauxhall Victor 101 and I have to say that it spent a lot of time in the shop. Consequently when I came to NA and discovered that Vauxhall was GM's marque in Britain I made sure to avoid GM vehicles like the plague. Today, Brits dub the current Vauxhall Astra as the "Ashtray" which must tell you something. That aside if any car company needs to be preserved in the UK it would be our Ford transplant. Having driven a couple, I have completely different memories with the Escort 1300cc sedan. Of course in the genius of Ford marketing, you couldn't get them here in Canada. Although Volkswagen had no problem shipping a gazillion of their Beetles from their Wolfsburg plant, getting German made Ford Escorts over here - fat chance. Escort was totally different animal from Vauxhalls offerings. They were fast with top speeds above 100mph I can say, from experience, and bulletproof, never saw the inside of a garage while I was driving them. My fear is that people don't see any problem in giving taxpayer's money (or from taxes paid by successful companies) to large failing corporations under the guise of saving jobs. Governments propping up these businesses have turned them into giant ponzi schemes. My reality check is that there is no shortage of cars. Cars are better built than they have ever been we just don't need to replace them as often. The industry has been bloated by easy credit. We need to shutter these plants for six months while we work out how many cars we really should be building. Put the line workers on unemployment assistance, that is what it's there for - to prevent social dislocations (pitchforks and firebrand time) and the financial impact that occurs when elephant sized institutions such as auto -loan companies miscalculate lease residuals and end up rolling over their clients. In fact we need more government oversight on captive auto-loan companies who are incentitized to move the "IRON" in favo(u)r of good fiscal judgement. Back to you Katie T2

  • Charly Charly on Mar 05, 2009

    There is hardly any costsaving by killing Vauxhall as advertising is hardly pan-european. ps. There are differences between an lefthanded Opel (as sold in Ireland & Malta) and a lefthanded Vauxhall. The bonnet is different on some models.

  • 2ronnies1cup 2ronnies1cup on Jun 10, 2011

    The reason for driving on the left is obvious if you have ever spent any time around horses - for a right-handed person, the natural way to mount a horse is from the left. Also, the slight differences in control movements made by a right-handed rider tend to move the horse to the left. The first Country to adopt using the right hand side of the carriageway was France under Napoleon Bonaparte. Face it, you stripey and starry Colonial types are just aping the cheese-eating surrender monkeys...