US automaker General Motors on Tuesday scrapped an on-again, off-again plan to sell its big European division, Opel.
GM said in a statement its board made the decision because of "an improving business environment for GM over the past few months, and the importance of Opel/Vauxhall to GM’s global strategy."
It said the GM board "has decided to retain Opel and will initiate a restructuring of its European operations in earnest."
"GM will soon present its restructuring plan to Germany and other governments and hopes for its favorable consideration," said Fritz Henderson, president and chief executive.
German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said Berlin urgently wanted to see GM's restructuring plan, adding that the company needed the support of the workers. The government is expected to seek to recover the bridge financing it gave Opel last year to keep it afloat until a sale.
"This is unacceptable for the employees eight weeks before Christmas," he said.
Workers at Opel planned walkouts to protest the decision. Klaus Franz, Adam Opel GmbH's top employee representative, said workers would start brief work stoppages on Thursday.