By Andrew Ganz
Friday, Dec 21st, 2012 @ 10:36 am
 

In a bid to raise much-needed capital, Opel will sell six of its facilities in Europe to its parent company, General Motors, for an amount said to keep the German automaker afloat for at least the next few years.

GM owns Opel and Opel owns production and engineering facilities scattered across Europe, but what Opel owns doesn't directly belong to GM. Opel is operated as an independent company, not as a division like Chevrolet is to Buick. As a result, the German brand is essentially the master of its own domain, even though GM relies heavily on it for global product engineering and development.

GM will now take over complete control of an engine plant in Hungary, a factory in Poland that builds the Opel Astra (a hatchback closely related to the Buick Verano) and a development center in Italy, as well as three other, unnamed facilities.

The terms of the deal have not been announced, but German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that the infusion of cash into Opel's bank accounts should keep the loss-making automaker operational through 2016. Opel has an outstanding loan from GM that's due by the end of 2014, however.

Since its primary new car market is beleaguered Europe, Opel has not been insulated from Europe's economic woes as well as German rival Volkswagen.