Business

Tuesday 27 June 2017

General Motors aiming to boost Limerick division and double its workforce to 200

GM, which is the distributor of Opel vehicles in Ireland, set up a logistics and tech support division in Limerick in late 2013 (AP)
GM, which is the distributor of Opel vehicles in Ireland, set up a logistics and tech support division in Limerick in late 2013 (AP)

Simon Rowe

The Irish arm of car giant General Motors is advancing plan to expand its operations in Limerick which could see a doubling of its 100-strong workforce, according to local sources.

The Detroit-based car manufacturer - owner of brands such as Opel, Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet - is believed to be close to finalising a deal with Limerick city and council which will see it significantly increase its leased office space at the council's corporate buildings in Dooradoyle.

GM, which is the distributor of Opel vehicles in Ireland, set up a logistics and tech support division in Limerick in late 2013. The firm is in the middle of a recruitment drive and is seeking to lease an extra floor of office space in the building to accommodate new staff.

A meeting of senior Limerick council officials and councillors is scheduled for tomorrow at which a plan to 'dispose of land' to benefit the US vehicle giant will be first tabled.

In a letter sent to senior council officials ahead of a monthly meeting scheduled for tomorrow, a senior executive officer at the property division of Limerick City and County Council outlined the plan.

"It is proposed to lease Floor 3, Corporate Buildings, Dooradoyle to General Motors Ireland Limited," the letter states.

"The proposed term is five years, with General Motors having an option to extend for a further period of five years.

"The proposed consideration is €145,241 per annum in respect of rent, insurance and service charge."

The building is the headquarters of the former Limerick County Council and is located adjacent to the Crescent Shopping Centre in Dooradoyle and Raheen Industrial Park.

Following the merger of Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council in 2015, the new Limerick City and County Council has two administrative buildings, City Hall in the city centre and County Hall in Dooradoyle, which it will share with General Motors. Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of GM, this month delivered a strong forecast for 2017 that was significantly higher than Wall Street analysts had been expecting.

This was despite concerns over the potential impact of policies from US president elect Donald Trump's on the car industry.

Barra said it had no plans to change where it produces small cars because of criticism from US president elect Donald Trump.

Trump has urged the industry to get companies to stop making cars in Mexico and shipping them back to the country in an effort to preserve jobs in America.

According to reports, the upbeat outlook from GM was based on growth expectation for North America and China along with a strong performance in the GM Financial business.

The company also expects to benefit from cost efficiencies, improvement in South America and benefits of a strong product launch strategy.

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