German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked General Motors to outline the future of its Opel division according to media reports.

Rumours have been circulating that GM could offload loss-making Opel, with the FT reporting a spokesman for Merkel noting such discussion was "unsettling" for employees.

"These employees work well," the spokesman is quoted as saying. "They deserve that their performance be appreciated, and they be given comfort about the future."

However, Opel chief executive Karl-Friedrich Stracke apparently noted the rumours were "pure speculation" from reports in Germany that Opel might consider selling the operation.

And the FT points out Opel and GM have not issued categorical statements they are not going to sell the business.

Opel/Vauxhall previously held negotiations with Magna International with a view to a potential sale two years ago, but the deal did not materialise.