FRANKFURT - General Motors reiterated on Friday it wanted state aid to help restructure European arm Opel after Germany's economics minister said the carmaker would not ask European taxpayers for help.
The topic is politically sensitive ever since GM reversed a decision to sell a majority stake in Opel to a consortium led by Canada's Magna, a deal backed by the full weight of Chancellor Angela Merkel's German government.
The restructuring of Opel for long-term sustainability requires involvement and financial support from all stakeholders, including employees and governments, GM Europe said on Friday.
We remain in discussions with governments to engage our plan in the same way they were willing to do with the Magna proposals to provide the best possible footing for Opel/Vauxhall success.
German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said on Thursday that GM did not need state aid for Opel because the company can shoulder the cost of restructuring by itself.
GM executives including CEO Fritz Henderson have indicated they could rely on U.S. taxpayer money if needed, but believe European governments are willing to assume the risk since GM's restructuring plan is just as extensive as Magna's was.
Responding to concerns from European Union competition authorities, Berlin had said it would be willing to extend support to any investors in Opel although it had earlier earmarked 4.5 billion euros ($6.69 billion) in aid if Magna won.
(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner and Angelika Gruber)