German minister Brigitte Zypries supports Peugeot-Opel deal after GM assurances

Brigitte Zypries

Germany expects PSA Group’s proposed acquisition of Opel to proceed, a minister stated on Thursday, after the United States automaker looked to ease fears of massive plant closures.

“I expect it to take place,” Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries informed reporters after conversations with senior executives from General Motors and PSA, maker of Peugeot and Citroen automobiles.

The German government is “doing whatever we can” to preserve Opel’s domestic plants, Zypries stated.

Talks on a sale of GM’s European arm to PSA were verified by both automakers on February 14, triggering alarm in London and Berlin over potential job cuts. Germany represent half of GM Europe’s 38,000 staff, with 4,500 in Britain where the company runs under the Vauxhall brand name.

Two sources near PSA stated on Thursday that job and plant cuts were part of the tie-up talks, including the two Vauxhall sites in Britain in the front line.

Although British Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister, Greg Clark said he had actually been informed by GM President Dan Ammann that there was no strategy to ditch the Vauxhall plants in the UK.

“I was assured by GM’s intention, communicated to me, to build on the success of these operations rather than rationalize them,” Clark stated, promising to preserve “close contact” with both automakers as talks development.

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