PSA Group has vowed to the German government to continue running all four of Opel’s German production sites as part of the French automaker’s takeover of General Motors’ European arm, Bild am Sonntag reported.
The sale was verified by both companies on Tuesday last week, raising the specter of cutbacks in the wake of an offer since Europe’s car industry has actually been dogged for years by overcapacity.
Federal government sources informed Reuters that PSA had indicated it was open to German demands to maintain sites, jobs and existing collective bargaining agreements however talks with Britain, the home of Opel’s sister brand Vauxhall, would also have to tie into a final job offer.
The paper stated PSA’s General Counsel Olivier Bourges informed two deputy ministers and an advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday that Opel would continue as a separate entity under PSA group and that no German sites would be shut down, without defining its sources.
The takeover deal will likely be signed by March 9, the beginning of the 2017 Geneva Motor show.
Germany’s economy minister Brigitte Zypries on Thursday stated she expected the offer to go ahead, after the United States automaker looked to ease fears of large-scale plant closures in the nation.
Two sources near to PSA have, however, informed Reuters that job and plant cuts are part of the tie-up talks, including the two British sites of Vauxhall.
PSA’s CEO will meet UK Prime Minister Theresa May to go over the deal, authorities stated on Saturday, amidst concern Britain’s departure from the European Union could put Vauxhall sites at a downside to Opel’s.
Germany represent about half of GM Europe’s 38,000 staff, while there are 4,500 in Britain. Other countries with Opel production websites consist of Spain and Poland.
A PSA spokesperson verified only that a meeting in between PSA representatives and German officials had occurred last week and that discussions had been positive.
Opel has not yet commented.