GM plays down UK and German job concerns
General Motors has played down the possibility of large-scale factory closures in Germany and Britain following any deal to sell its European brands to Peugeot maker PSA Group, according to officials in both countries.
However, two sources close to PSA said that job and plant cuts were part of the French carmaker's discussions over a potential deal to buy GM's Opel and Vauxhall brands, with UK sites in the front line.
News of the talks between the two automakers earlier this week sparked particular concern in Germany and Britain, where Opel and Vauxhall employ thousands of workers.
The structure of any deal has yet to be decided and it is unclear whether GM might have a stake in the combined business.
Following a meeting with GM president Dan Ammann on Thursday, British business minister Greg Clark said he had been reassured GM did not intend to "rationalise" its Vauxhall operations in Britain.
"There is some way to go in discussions between GM and PSA but I was reassured by GM's intention, communicated to me, to build on the success of these operations rather than rationalise them," Clark said in a statement. "We will continue to be in close contact with GM and PSA in the days and weeks ahead."
However, Britain's Unite trade union, which met with Ammann and Clark, said it had not received the guarantees it wanted.
"There's no assurances at the moment, this is a story that's unfolding and we'll wait to see what the next instalment is," Unite leader Len McCluskey told Sky News. (Reuters)