Opel agreements on product plans reach beyond 2020 - labour chiefs

Feb 18, 2017, 00:40

In a statement after the GM meeting, Mr Clark said: "I had constructive talks with GM this morning where I emphasised the importance and successful presence of Vauxhall in the United Kingdom and welcomed GM's recognition of the excellent and committed workforce at Ellesmere Port, Luton and across the UK".

"While discussions are still on-going, they made clear to me that... these were strengths they would wish to build on".

'PSA Group utilisation rate is close to 100 per cent and we do not provide details per factory, ' he said in a statement.

Vauxhall employs 4,500 staff at plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton, with a further 300 people working in a customer contact centre and 120 at its OnStar headquarters.

While PSA said it would build on the strength of Vauxhall's staff, there was no assurance over jobs at Vauxhall's United Kingdom plants.

France's PSA group - which owns Peugeot and Citroen - is in talks to buy Opel and Vauxhall.

He told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "There is a new element of course which is uncertainty over Britain's participation in the single market and the customs union".

Clark had previously contacted GM President Dan Ammann to express concern over the future of Opel's United Kingdom plants.

More than 3,000 jobs at two iconic Vauxhall vehicle plants in the United Kingdom are "at risk", says The Times.

However the two carmakers now in the headlines - PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall - posted weaker European sales in January than any other major carmaker. GM had pledged "renewed actions" to restore its European business to profitability before news of the talks broke. It trades out of Germany as Opel, but is known under the historic Vauxhall badge in the UK. However, GM's recent announcement that it might sell its European operations has rekindled rumors of an FCA merger. "Restructuring is very likely to happen at the Vauxhall plants".

Dave Leggett, editor of just-auto.com editor, wrote: "It's hard to avoid the conclusion that rationalising the plant-product mix to take out cost would have to be on the agenda". It could be politically hard to push in that direction. The business makes the Astra at Ellesmere Port and the Vivaro in Luton.

General Motors and PSA Group already operate a strategic alliance and the forthcoming Crossland X is expected to share much of its underpinnings from Peugeot's SUV range.

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