A report in Financial Times Deutschland suggests that Opel/Vauxhall employees in Europe are sharply divided on their bid preferences with a geographical split evident in terms of German and non-German employees.

While the German staff of Opel prefer Magna to buy the company, workers abroad mainly support the rival bidder – RHJ International.

The report notes that for non-German staff there is an expectation that RHJ would cut fewer jobs outside Germany than Magna. Magna’s bid is perceived as enjoying strong German support because of assurances given on jobs to Germany ahead of federal elections and in return for German financial support.

At the beginning of August, Spanish trade union UGT announced it prefers RHJ’s acquisition concept because it involves 1,400 job cuts in Zaragoza, or fewer than the 1,700 in Magna’s strategy.

British trade union Unite has said that it prefers the RHJ bid on the grounds that it would mean fewer jobs lost in the UK than under the Magna proposal.

The FTD report notes that Opel/Vauxhall has a staff exceeding 45,000 throughout Europe, with 25,000 workers in Germany alone.