German state ready to offer help to Opel

2017/2018 Opel Crossland X images

The German state of Thuringia is ready to offer help to automaker Opel for keeping the region’s Eisenach plant open, state premier Bodo Ramelow informed Reuters on Monday.

The state could help with energy expenses and property, he stated, but also said that it would only provide assistance if wage bargaining parties returned to the negotiating table.

It is not acceptable to use investment choices to put the state of Thuringia “virtually under threat of blackmail”, Ramelow stated.

Of the three states in which Opel manufactures in Germany, he included: “The three states won’t allow themselves to be divided.”

In 2017, France’s PSA Group paid General Motors $2.6 billion for loss-making Opel and British sister brand Vauxhall and is now looking forward to make savings.

Opel needs to slash personnel expenses by up to 25 percent to make German sites competitive, Chief Executive Michael Lohscheller informed German weekly Bilanz.

Any investment in the sites in Germany is conditional upon them becoming competitive. Opel has no strategies to shut down a German factory and will honor present collective wage bargaining agreements, Lohscheller informed the magazine.

In a separate interview with Automobilwoche, Lohscheller stated it would not be able to begin production of a new model in Germany in the first half of this year as there was no settlement with labor representatives about how to make German plants more competitive.

The German automaker group’s German works council on Monday suggested that Opel management was not honoring their side of the bargain.

“Lohscheller should tell the truth. The tariff agreements are not being adhered to in the product and project plans for factories and engineering,” the companies works council stated on Monday.

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