Well more than 100 journalists are expected to head for Opel’s key Rüsselsheim factory on 31 March when federal chancellor Angela Merkel, defence minister Franz Josef Jung and assorted Hessen state officials visit.

More than 3,000 employees are expected to attend speeches to be given by Merkel and Koch in a factory hall.

Opel is after EUR3.3bn in federal loan aid and Merkel, who has previously said Opel was not systemically essential to Germany, is adamant none should flow to parent GM in the US.

The government visitors will see the current GMR flagship Insignia being assembled.

GM Europe president Carl-Peter Forster, Opel head Hans Demant and works council president Klaus Franz will speak to the workers and invited guests.

Forster said: “We thank federal chancellor Angela Merkel and state premier Roland Koch for taking the time to see for themselves the importance of Opel in Rüsselsheim, the high level of quality in our automobile production and our technological development.

“In addition, the chancellor will also get a view of how innovative technologies from Opel are important to future mobility.”

Franz said: “That the chancellor visits Opel in Rüsselsheim in these difficult times is important to us in two ways: The visit sends a clear signal that the people who work at Opel can count on her for solidarity and it gives us the opportunity for us to make clear that Opel has a future.”

Merkel said last week Germany doesn’t want to own a slice of Opel but might help it survive.

She has rejected the idea of the state taking a direct stake in Opel and told a German TV show: “We do not have that aim at the moment.”

She saw a chance to help Opel suvive with state help, saying: “I am not pessimistic, but we haven’t achieved it yet.”

A future business plan for Opel could only be prepared once GM’s future was known. Merkel said: “Then the (German) state can assume guarantees, if we can work that out.”

US president Obama is due to make a major announcement on Monday after his federal autos task force said at the weekend neither GM nor Chrysler would be viable under initial restructuring plans submitted to the administration. GM has been given sufficient funding for 60 more days while Chrysler has 30 days to agree a merger deal with Fiat.

German economy minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has talked with potential Opel investors but said their interest was linked to the quality of a GM rescue plan.

Guttenberg had earlier last week met GM CEO and both men agreed it was essential for GM to find a private investor in Opel to lessen the burden on German taxpayers.