PSA pledges to safeguard Opel jobs
The chief executive of France’s PSA Group, Carlos Tavares, has confirmed to Chancellor Angela Merkel that PSA will "retain the independence of Opel within the Group and that it will honour guarantees regarding Opel sites, investment and jobs".
The German government has declared itself satisfied with the announcement that Opel’s independence will be upheld. "Now the companies involved must conclude their negotiations," said government spokesperson Steffen Seibert on Wednesday (22 February). The German government will provide positive support throughout this process.
Opel’s parent company General Motors is negotiating the sale of Opel to the French automobile manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën. A deal of this sort would "enable both the PSA Group and Opel to improve their positions on the rapidly changing European market," said General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
"Opel must remain Opel"
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Brigitte Zypries demanded a long-term job guarantee for Opel. And, she said, it is important that the identity of the German manufacturer be retained. "It is important that Opel remains Opel," stressed the minister on Thursday (23 February) after talks with her French counterpart Michel Sapin in Paris.
An alliance between PSA and Opel could raise international competitiveness and boost opportunities on international markets. "Another European global player could thus emerge," said Brigitte Zypries and Michel Sapin in a joint statement issued after their meeting.
On Friday (17 February), Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed that everything that is politically possible will be done "to safeguard jobs and Opel sites in Germany". Within the German government, State Secretary Matthias Machnig will be acting as coordinator.
On behalf of the German government, Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, will be supporting negotiations between PSA and General Motors. He will also be the contact person for trade unions and for those German federal states that are home to Opel manufacturing and development facilities.