Klaus Franz, chair of the Opel works committee, has spoken out against the global management of GM, saying that poor corporate policies and new model strategies are to blame for the current company crisis, reported Automobilwoche.

In the US GM continues to sell fuel guzzling SUVs and trucks, while new competition from Japan and Europe takes share with more economical models.

"Many of GM's problems are home-made. In particular GM management has failed to match the product range to customer needs," said Franz.

"Wagoner should utilise the global scale of the company and sell modern Opel cars with the Saturn logo in the USA."

A GM spokesperson told Automobilwoche that exports from high wage Germany are definitely not planned.

Franz argued, however, that better utilisation of European capacity would even out some of its cost disadvantages

The company's new platform strategy is also risking watering down the Opel brand, claimed Franz. "We need a brand centre that nourishes and develops the brand."

This contrasts with the current strategy of investing in Cadillac and Chevrolet to make them into global brands.

Franz also told Automobilwoche about the need for GM unions to cooperate on a global basis.

In March 2006 a meeting in Antwerp will include the US UAW union, to discuss subjects such as global platforms and the role of India and China in the production and development processes.

Franz said, "In the future we will stop GM management playing plants and countries off against another."