GM wants to change Opel's accounting system

Ruesselsheim. General Motors Europe is in dispute with its subsidiary Adam Opel over a new accounting system.

Opel boss Carl-Peter Forster wants to add all revenues that arise from Opel's European sales to Opel's balance sheet, but GM Europe chief Michael Burns wants to make all of Opel's activities part of his own accounts.

Burns has support from GM group boss Rick Wagoner.

"I am only interested in GM Europe's figures. I don't look at each European country individually," Wagoner told Automobilwoche.

Financial director John Devine also supports a simplified accounting system: "Sometimes we have too many different figures. I believe it would be better in future to look at the European business as a whole."

Klaus Franz, head of Opel's works council, said: "We need an accounting system that reflects just the Opel brand. That is the only way for Opel employees to see if progress is being made."

Only a fraction of the revenues from the Opel Meriva, which is being built in Spain, will go to Opel.

In 2004 Opel will also only partially benefit from the success of the new Astra. Only the Caravan version is produced in Germany. The three- and five door versions are being built in Belgium and the convertible in France.

Due to tax reasons nearly all of the revenues go to GME even though Opel invests in the development of the new cars.

"It's not fair," said Franz.

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