German manufacturing jobs safe from PSA Group’s Opel takeover deal

Brexit has placed Opel’s Vauxhall sites at a distinct disadvantage. With the PSA group’s planned acquisition of GM’s European operations, jobs, and sites are facing potential cutbacks.

As per German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the PSA Group has pledged to the German government that it will continue to operate all four of Opel’s German production sites as part of the planned acquisition by the French car manufacturer of General Motor’s European car manufacturing plant.

The planned takeover has been confirmed by both companies thus raising the spectre of cutbacks since the European car market has, since years, been dogged by overcapacity.

Government sources have confirmed that PSA had understood the sensitivity surrounding the preservation of German jobs, manufacturing activity along with the collective bargaining contracts. However, before the deal is finalized, Vauxhall, Opel’s sister brand in Britain will have to be factored in.

PSA’s General Counsel Olivier Bourges has reassured German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s two deputy ministers that Opel will continue to operate as a separate entity within the PSA Group and no German site will be closed.

Bild am Sonntag has disclosed that the deal is likely to be signed before the opening of the Geneva Auto Show, i.e., by March 9.

However, as per two sources familiar with the matter at hand, job cuts are part of the deal with the two British sites of Vauxhall in the front line.

Last week on Saturday, PSA’s leadership had disclosed that they are stated to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the deal midst concerns that Brexit could put Vauxhall sites at a distinct disadvantage for Opel.

For Opel’s production sites in Europe, 38,000 staff are located in Germany while 4,500 are in Britain. Opel also has production sites in Spain, and Poland.

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