Minister encounters Peugeot and French government regarding Vauxhall deal

Automotive - Mohit Shah - Feb 17,2017

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minister encounters peugeot and french government regarding vauxhall deal

Business secretary Greg Clark met Peugeot executives as well as the French government as part of the efforts to safeguard thousands of British jobs after the Vauxhall deal.

Mr. Greg Clark described his confrontation with the PSA board and French industry minister Christophe Sirugue as "constructive meetings”.

There are active talks regarding PSA’s takeover of GM's Europe arm Opel, which also includes Vauxhall. According to Germany's economy minister, the deal was likely to move forward.

Presently, Vauxhall employs 4,500 workers at the two plants situated at Ellesmere Port and Luton, with the inclusion of thousands more who are managed under the components and retail chain.

The business secretary met Vauxhall managing director, Rory Harvey, GM's president, Dan Ammann and officials from the Unite union as concerns stand over Vauxhall's 35,000-strong UK workforce.

After the meeting, Mr. Clark stated that there is some more path left to be covered during discussions between GM and PSA, but he was reassured by GM's intention to build on the positives of these operations.

On the other hand, Unite union leader Len McCluskey said there were "no assurances” provided to him related to Vauxhall's workforce, but considers solid proposals are looming.

McCluskey regarded Vauxhall "a jewel within the crown" for General Motor’s European trade and said the government must offer clarity that it would not agree to compromise even a single job damage in Britain.

This major acquisition of GM's European arm which is 14% owned by the French government, has ignited serious concerns in the three prominent European economies, namely the UK, France and Germany.

On Wednesday, Mr Ammann and GM chief executive Mary Barra paid a visit at the Opel headquarters in Germany to respond to certain questions related to the Vauxhall deal.

Vauxhall is listed among the major employers in the UK, which manages a 35,000 staff, covering 23,000 workforce in its retail network, 7,000 in its supply chain and 300 at a customer contact center located in Luton.