General Motors is accelerating its restructuring plans for Europe and is considering "several" plant closures or spin offs. The company also says its Saab unit could file for reorganization as early as this month.
GM wants to save $1.2 billion in Europe this year, the company said in its submission to the U.S. government for emergency funding.
GM did not say which European factories could close, although it said it is looking at manufacturing facilities in "high cost locations."
On Tuesday, GM disclosed details of a restructuring plan that it has submitted to the U.S. Treasury. The struggling automaker has asked the U.S. government for an additional $16.6 billion in aid to help it survive.
GM said it is talking with employee representatives in Europe to achieve $1.2 billion in cost reductions, which include several possible closures or spin offs of manufacturing facilities in high cost locations.
The company said it expects to resolve solvency issues for its European operations before March 31. It said a sustainable strategy for its European operations could include support from partnerships with the German and other European governments.
"We have more time than the end of March but we need to move expeditiously for funding support," said CEO Rick Wagoner.
Wagoner said GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster and Opel Managing Director Hans Demant are talking with the German government about financial support for Opel.
The talks are continuing but "are far from final resolution," Wagoner said.
When asked if GM would sell Opel, Wagoner said no buyers have approached GM for the German carmaker.
"With Opel we're in the midst of working with various parties including the German government on all options," he said.
GM said its Swedish unit Saab could file for reorganization as early as this month without help from Sweden's government.
GM has been trying to find a buyer for Saab. It said that "because of the urgency of stemming sizeable cash demands associated with Saab operations," it is requesting Swedish government support prior to any sale.
Wagoner said he could not see GM retaining ownership of Saab, with the company instead being spun off into an independent business from January 1 2010.
He said: "Somebody needs to come in and take over the business in the near term."
Wagoner said that any buyer of Saab could have access to GM technology.
In December, Sweden outlined a plan to save its auto industry by offering credit guarantees and emergency loans, but said it had no plans to buy a stake in Saab. GM and Sweden have yet to agree on terms an aid package.
"They've been very open and the dialogue has been positive, but we haven't found the solution yet," GM Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson said of the Swedish government.
GM said in its submission to the U.S. Treasury that its Saab, Hummer and Saturn brands had generated a loss of $1.1 billion on an EBIT basis (earnings before interest and tax).
Jamie LaReau & Reuters contributed