Business Secretary Lord Mandelson visited a Vauxhall factory yesterday amid mounting speculation over the ownership of the car giant and the future of thousands of UK jobs.
The minister toured the production line at the firm’s Ellesmere Port plant and met union officials, managers and local MPs to update them on discussions the Government is having with parties involved in bidding to buy the European operations of General Motors.
Vauxhall’s 5,000 UK workers, based in Ellesmere Port and at the firm’s van plant in Luton, have endured months of uncertainty about their job prospects, although a decision on their future is now imminent
Canadian auto-parts firm Magna International, Belgian investment group RHJ International and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding have submitted bids, which are now being studied by GM.
Talks are expected to be held with the German government in the next few days, with information shared with other governments, including UK ministers.
A final decision on the sale is expected to be made by GM in the United States next week.
The future of the Ellesmere Port plant is thought to be secured as the factory will be building the new Vauxhall Astra model for the whole of Europe from September.