Germany encouraged over Opel jobs, but United Kingdom union worries

The plans have sparked fears of job losses in Britain, where Vauxhall employs about 35,000 people, as well as in Germany.

PSA Group has pledged to maintain GM's Opel operations in Germany but the future of United Kingdom plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton remain uncertain, according to reports on the Continent. "My personal commitment and the commitment of this government will be unbounded" to ensure future of Vauxhall's plants at Ellesmere Port, near Liverpool, and Luton, north of London.

GM said last week that it's in talks to sell its Opel and Vauxhall-branded operations to Peugeot owner PSA Group, prompting a flurry of diplomatic activity as Clark first sought talks with GM, and then with PSA and the French government, which part-owns the French manufacturer.

Britain's decision to leave the European Union, which could lead to trade tariffs, could be a factor in the decision, although the country's politicians and unions are lobbying hard.

May will seek safeguards for Britain's vehicle industry as she seeks to head off concerns that Britain's exit from the European Union will put the auto industry at risk. Answering a question in the United Kingdom parliament on Monday, he added PSA was not in a position to give guarantees as it was still in talks with GM.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is kept updated on the issue, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.


Tavares, PSA Group's Chief Executive Officer, had asked for a meeting with the British Prime Minister Theresa May about the planned acquisition, a spokesman for the French carmaker said.

Theresa May has agreed in principle to meet Peugeot boss Carlos Tavares to discuss PSA Group's proposals to buy General Motors' European operation, including British company Vauxhall, Downing Street said.

A German Economy Ministry spokesman said Berlin was also in contact with the British government and the two countries would not let themselves be played off against each other.

According to Sky News Mrs May is expected to be joined by Business Secretary Greg Clark.

"It's going to be a private conversation".

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