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Opel lands $358M loan from Spain

by Drew Johnson

Marking a small victory, General Motors' Opel division has secured a $358 million loan from Spain's central government.

General Motors' Opel division is still waiting for the German government to make a decision on federal aid for the ailing automaker but, in the meantime, Spain's central government has pledged $358.2 million to support the German car maker.

Following General Motors' decision to keep its German Opel brands, several European governments suspended plans to finance the automakers turnaround plans. The company has essentially been in limbo ever since, but Spain has finally taken the lead on the subject.

"Between the central government and the autonomous region of Aragon, we have put a limit (on aid) of about 300 million euros," the government of northeastern region Aragon said on its website.

Although helpful, the $358.2 million loan is just a fraction of what Opel needs to restructure. Opel recently secured a new labor agreement that was believed to be the foundation for government loans, but it remains to be seen if Spain's action will prompt other European governments to follow suit.