General Motors axes 9,000 jobs after stalled Opel sell-off plans

US CAR giant General Motors (GM) said yesterday it will be cutting 9,000 jobs around Europe &ndash; slightly fewer than the estimated figure of 10,000 &ndash; as it restructures its European arm, Opel.<br /><br />GM added it would keep its four German plants open, almost a month after it called off plans to sell Opel, along with its UK branch Vauxhall, to Canadian car parts maker Magna. <br /><br />But the brunt of the job losses &ndash; around 5,400 &ndash; will be going from Germany, where 25,000 are employed. <br /><br />The future of its Antwerp plant, which employs about 2,500 people, is in doubt, but there is growing hope for the future of the near-5,000 people who are employed in the UK at Vauxhall&rsquo;s Luton and Ellesmere Port plants.<br /><br />Speciality carmaker Koenigsegg Automotive pulled out of a deal to buy Saab earlier this week, leaving GM back at square one. Before Koenigsegg expressed an interest, the carmaker had planned to let Saab fail. <br /><br />Its board, including chief executive Fritz Henderson, is meeting next week to discuss the brand&rsquo;s future. <br /><br />GM emerged from bankruptcy in record time earlier this year, and has since been restructuring.