GM’s board of directors is scheduled to meet today (Friday, Aug 21) to discuss the sale of its Opel/Vauxhall operations.

It is thought that the board will review the status of negotiations, with attention this week focussed in particular on the Magna proposal.

While it is conceivable that the board may move towards backing a bid ‘in principle’ much depends on the state of negotiations and whether or not progress has been made with the obstacles associated with Magna’s bid.

Any decision would still have to be referred to the Opel trustees, suggesting that a public announcement is unlikely today, but could come next week.

The stakes in the Opel bidding process – essentially a two-horse race between Magna and Belgian investor group RHJ – were raised further this week when the German government appeared to make further state aid from Germany for Opel dependent on GM picking the Magna bid.

Magna officials and representatives of its Russian bid partner Sberbank also met with GM yesterday in Detroit (Thursday, Aug 20) on what sources say was a ‘relationship building’ exercise.

But some observers believe it could be another sign that momentum is building around Magna’s bid which, after the strong support shown by the German government this week, is considered by some to be in pole position – although a number of GM executives in Detroit remain attracted to the RHJ bid.