Mike Stevens | Mar 13, 2009

As part of a combined effort to keep GM Europe's Opel and Vauxhall brands alive, dealers for the two companies are putting together a bid to buy a minority stake in the ailing carmakers.

A group called Euroda, which represents 4000 Vauxhall and Opel dealers in 25 countries, is behind the plan. The dealers will have to raise in the order of €400 million (AUD$789m) for a successful bid however, which, with credit markets still in lock-down, won't be easy.

The plan has yet to be approved by the group’s member dealers, and with each dealer required to commit €150 (AUD$295) of every vehicle sold in the next three years, the vote – scheduled for May 15 – may be a tight one.

Above: European Car of the Year, the Opel Insignia

A minority stake wouldn’t give Euroda enough leverage to take control of the carmakers, but the dealers concerned are hopeful that the investment would demonstrate to the European governments – some of them hesitant to help GM Europe’s subsidiaries at all – the strength of the support for the two marques.

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