General Motors decides to retain European operations

04 November 2009 #SMMT News

Detroit-based General Motors (GM) has decided to retain Opel, including the UK division Vauxhall, following an improved business environment over the past few months.

Under the new plan, the GM Board of Directors will restructure its European operations. The decision was based on the improved business environment in Europe and GM’s overall increased financial health and stability. For several months leading up to the surprise announcement, the company was involved in negotiations with Magna International, a Canadian car parts company, and the German and UK governments. With this decision, GM has reaffirmed the importance of the European market to its global strategy.
GM president and CEO Fritz Henderson said, “GM will soon present its restructuring plan to Germany and other governments and hopes for its favourable consideration. We understand the complexity and length of this issue has been draining for all involved. This was deemed to be the most stable and least costly approach for securing Opel/Vauxhall’s long-term future.”
In the UK, Vauxhall Motors employs nearly 5,000 British workers, split between the car plant in Ellesmere Port and the van plant in Luton. To weather the economic downturn, several concessions have been made at both plants, including postponed production and flexible working hours. The focus now will be to protect the jobs at Vauxhall, which, if successful, will also help safeguard the 25,000 jobs in manufacturing and services at the nearly 400 components companies which depend on Vauxhall.
GM has vowed to work with all European labour unions to develop a plan for meaningful contributions to Opel’s restructuring. More details on the next steps in the restructuring will be provided as the plans and developments move forward.  

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