Peugeot-owner PSA Group has agreed a deal with General Motors (GM) to buy the Opel and Vauxhall brands for €2.2bn (£1.9bn), in a deal that has the potential to dramatically shake-up he region’s automotive landscape.
The deal was announced ahead of a press conference in Paris on Monday.
The combination will create a manufacturer with about 17 per cent of the European car market, creating the region’s second-biggest auto group after Volkswagen.
However, the plans have sparked intense fears about what it might mean for jobs in the UK.
Vauxhall employs 4,500 people at its Ellesmere Port and Luton plants, but the French government has a 14 per cent stake in PSA and there are concerns that political pressure could be applied to prioritise jobs in France
Carlos Tavares, chairman of PSA’s managing board, on Monday promised to keep existing GM commitments to workers.
“We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” Mr Tavaressaid in statement.
Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer, said: “We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects.”
Ahead of the announcement, Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, said thousands of Vauxhall workers at Ellesmere Port and Luton had endured a “nerve-racking” few weeks but added that initial discussions with the PSA Group “have been relatively positive.”
Last week, Business Secretary Greg Clark said that General Motors had reassured him over the future of Vauxhall’s UK operations during a meeting that he had had with GM’s president, Dan Ammann.
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