Carmaker’s job loss fear Vauxhall boss warns of cuts
THE owner of car maker Vauxhall has braced workers for cutbacks.
Michael Lohscheller, who runs Opel Automobile, stressed its “clear intention” was to “maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe”.
But the firm added: “The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programmes or early retirement schemes.”
It came as the company announced a target to slash costs by £975million a year by 2020, rising to £1.5bn by 2026.
Peugeot parent company PSA completed the takeover of General Motors’ loss-making European arm in August. A big part of the savings will come from sharing parts across the PSA group.
The cost-cut announcement is likely to receive a mixed reaction at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton factories which employ 4,500 workers.
PSA has pledged to continue making the current seventh generation Astra at Ellesmere Port until 2021 and the Vivaro van at Luton until 2025, but there are concerns about what happens after that.
It comes weeks after PSA announced there would be 400 job losses at the Ellesmere Port plant. Unite, Britain’s biggest union, was in discussions with Opel management yesterday.
Opel aims to make its business profitable by 2020.
Other announcements yesterday included having electric versions of all models. And there were commitments on research and development and two new models – both to be built in Germany.
Professor Christian Stadler, of Warwick Business School, said: “They are keeping their options open for the UK operations as a lot will depend on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.”
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