The GM transmission plant in Strasbourg

The GM transmission plant in Strasbourg

General Motors has confirmed it is considering buying the GM Strasbourg plant although it declined to reveal the price.

The plant in eastern France makes automatic transmissions and is currently owned by Motors Liquidation Company, part of the former GM Corporation being wound down.

"GM is now considering taking back this plant on board," a GM spokesman in Germany told just-auto.

"This plan foresees improving the competitiveness of Strasbourg."

There has been speculation in France GM could buy the plant for a symbolic EUR1 (US$1.28) but the spokesman added: "We have no comment on the EUR1 price."

A union at the Strasbourg plant has denounced rumoured proposals to cut wages by 10% as "unacceptable," although GM was unable to comment on the reports.

"For the time being, this plant is not owned by the new GM company" said the GM spokesman. "It is owned by Motors Liquidation Company (MLC) - we can't talk about things going on currently."

The metallurgy division of the CGT union in the Alsace departement of eastern France, where the GM factory is located, claims the site will only be operational until 2013.

"We want long term guarantees - Strasbourg makes a profit of EUR55m (US$70.7m) every year," CGT spokesman Amar Ladraa told just-auto.

"There is a will to have more profits for shareholders and General Motors."

However, the US giant rejected the suggestions it would take on the plant only for a few years.

"GM is considering buying this plant and not for a short time," added the spokesman. "We had a vote at Strasbourg and the plan was presented by management of that plant.

"This plan foresees improving the competiveness of Strasbourg."

Ladraa said 150 jobs were slated to be axed at the plant - the workforce is 1,200 currently.

And despite 70% of the staff voting for GM's plan, the CGT union insists this was done "under constraint" although it is not clear what impediment there might have been.

MLC said it had no comment to make on the situation in Strasbourg. "We are the seller in this situation," a spokesman in the US said.

Further developments are expected shortly.

GM ponders Strasbourg acquisition