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German Chancellor Visits Opel in Rüsselsheim

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RÜSSELSHEIM, GERMANY – March 30, 2009: Well more than 100 journalists are expected March 31 at Opel when Federal chancellor Angela Merkel visits the Insignia factory in Rüsselsheim. She will be accompanied by Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung as well as dignitaries from the state of Hessen, including Premiere Roland Koch and Economics Minister Dieter Posch.

Opel’s employees also are awaiting the 90 minute visit with great anticipation. More than 3,000 employees are expected to attend speeches to be given by Merkel and Koch in a factory hall.

During the visit, the chancellor together with the defense minister and Hessen’s premier will tour the highly modern automobile production hall, where the Insignia is assembled. Rüsselsheim is home to the newly launched Opel Insignia, named Car of the Year 2009, for which more than 80,000 orders have been received in Europe to date.

In addition to Merkel and Koch, GM Europe’s President Carl-Peter Forster, Opel head Hans Demant as well as works council president Klaus Franz will speak to the workers and invited guests.

Forster underscored the meaning of the visit: “We thank Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and State Premier Roland Koch for taking the time to see for themselves the importance of Opel in Rüsselsheim, the high level of quality in our automobile production and our technological development. In addition, the chancellor will also get a view of how innovative technologies from Opel are important to future mobility.”

Klaus Franz, too, greeted the chancellor’s visit. “That the chancellor visits Opel in Rüsselsheim in these difficult times is important to us in two ways: The visit sends a clear signal that the people who work at Opel can count on her for solidarity and it gives us the opportunity for us to make clear that Opel has a future.”