Initial talks in between the German government and automakers PSA and General Motors have led to some motivating signs that jobs at Opel factories will be maintained, though no assurances have been made yet, a top official stated.
On the other hand, a source near Britain’s most significant trade union informed it was significantly concerned about the future of Vauxhall plants in England, should Peugeot-maker PSA seal a deal to purchase GM’s European Opel/Vauxhall arm.
Europe’s vehicle industry has been dogged by overcapacity for several years, and analysts have said the scheduled sale of GM’s loss making European organisation to France’s PSA is most likely to lead to some cutbacks.
Two sources close to PSA informed Reuters last week that task and plant cuts are part of the tie-up talks, with the two Vauxhall sites in UK in the front line.
Britain’s choice to leave the European Union, which might cause trade tariffs, could be a factor in the choice, although the nation’s politicians and unions are lobbying hard.
Of General Motors Europe’s approximately 38,000 staff, around half remain in Germany and 4,500 in Britain.
German Deputy Economy Minister Matthias Machnig stated on Monday GM and PSA had so far not offered any binding guarantees on German jobs, however that there had been some encouraging signs.
“This is why speculation is premature at this point,” Machnig informed German tv station ARD. He expressed hope that a mix with France’s PSA might form the basis of a better future for Opel.
Bild am Sonntag had reported that PSA had vowed to keep running all four of Opel’s German production sites.