The deal to sell the European arm of General Motors faces the risk of collapse, thereby opening the door once again for Fiat.
Insiders have hinted at a ‘cooling’ towards GM’s preferred bidder, Canadian car parts firm, Magna International.
It means weeks of more uncertainty for 5,000 British workers at Vauxhall, which is owned by GM.
Officials in Germany, where the bulk of GM’s European operations are based, have revealed that the door remains open for Fiat, which was once thought to be in the driving seat to acquire GM Europe, and for Chinese companies.
German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg says his officials were still talking to potential investors in Vauxhall and Opel which have not yet been made public.
He said: “We are still in contact with other investors.” It is understood that China’s fifth largest carmaker, BAIC, is in the running alongside Fiat and another unnamed Chinese investor.
UK Government officials are due to meet Magna executives in London this week.