General Motors has no concrete plans to shut its German unit Opel’s factories, Juergen Ruettgers, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, said after meeting GM’s head Rick Wagoner in Detroit.


“It took a load off my mind when I heard that there is no decision here at General Motors’ headquarters to shut down any plants in Germany,” Ruettgers, the conservative leader of the country’s most populous state, told Reuters through a spokesman.


GM has said its European business would likely post a profit in 2011 at the earliest after radical cost cuts – it is trying to make $1.2bn in savings.


“But due to the difficult economic situation there must be a plan for the future, not just in Europe but also in America,” Ruettgers said.


German chancellor Angela Merkel has said Opel must present a clear plan before Berlin could consider state aid, Reuters noted.


Ruettgers added that a condition of support from the government would also be that the company keeps its four German Opel plants and retains its patents and brand rights.


Germany economy minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has said he was working on a fresh rescue plan for Opel that need not include the government temporarily taking an equity holding in the automaker.


He told German television station ZDF it was important to consider “other models than those that are currently being talked about” and solutions that would not require an immediate stake purchase by the state, the Reuters report said.