Do you do business in your region? Sign up to our daily bulletin to keep up-to-date.
Fears over 35000 Vauxhall jobs as Citroen owner considers takeover
Posted by Richard Bell on 15 Feb 2017
Around 35k UK jobs could be at risk as the owner of Vauxhall, US auto giant General Motors (GM), considers the sale of the loss-making automaker to PSA Group.
The general secretary of trade union Unite, Len McCluskey, said his priority is to speak to GM about the impact any potential sale would have on the workforce.
PSA Group, which owns Peugeot and Citroen, is believed to be discussing a potential takeover of Vauxhall and its sister brand Opel, although it is yet to make an official bid.
Such a deal would hand PSA a 16% share of the European auto market, making it the second-largest car manufacturer in Europe.
Vauxhall currently employs 4,500 people at sites in Ellesmere Port and Luton. The company also employs 300 at a customer contact centre and a further 120 at the headquarters of its vehicle safety and security business, OnStar.
Around 23k people, meanwhile, work in Vauxhall’s extensive retail network. It is also estimated that 7,000 jobs are dependent on the company’s UK supply chain.
According to ITV News, Unite’s Len McCluskey said: “My priority now is to speak to General Motors to seek immediate assurances for the UK plants and this loyal workforce.
“I’ll also be seeking urgent conversations with the Government because everything must be done to secure our world-class automotive industry.”
He continued: “I have no intention of allowing GM to walk away from our plants and workers – so my message to the workers at Luton, Ellesmere Port and the tens of thousands in the wider supply chain is this, remain strong and stay united.
“The UK and the EU are among GM’s biggest markets – if they think that they can walk away from dedicated workers and loyal consumers without a care, they need to think again.”
Before the EU Referendum, Detroit-headquartered GM reported that its European arm was on track to break even. However, the fall in the value of the Pound triggered by the vote put a £200m dent in the company’s earnings.
In 2016, GM said it must raise car prices by 2.5% to offset the difficult market conditions.
Concerns over the impact of Vauxhall’s potential sale to PSA Group follow news of UK engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce posting one of the most substantial losses in UK corporate history.