In February it was reported that General Motors (GM) was planning to sell its European arm, including the Vauxhall and Opel brands, and that PSA Group were interested in buying. Since then the story has taken huge steps forward and the sale was announced this morning (March 6th).
The £1.9 billion (2.2 billion Euros) deal will make PSA Group, the owners of Peugeot, the second largest car manufacturer in Europe, placing them second only to Volkswagen. It adds the plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton to PSA’s others, resulting in a total of 24.
The deal also sees General Motors exiting Europe. Since purchasing Vauxhall and Opel at the turn of the Millennium and beginning European operations GM has lost billions. Their move away will see them focus more on their home market in the US and emerging markets like China.
The focus will now shift to what the impact on UK jobs and automotive recruitment will be. There are 4,500 staff at the Luton and Ellesmere Port plants and thousands more employed at Vauxhall dealerships. Following the announcement of the sale it was revealed that PSA plan to save £1.47 billion per year going forward.
PSA Group reaffirmed their aim to respect the commitments that GM made to Vauxhall and Opel employees when the sale was finalised. This bodes well for current employees but suggests that further automotive recruitment is very unlikely, especially with the huge capacity the company will now boast. Fortunately much of this can be put to helping PSA to access new markets that are said to be reluctant to purchase French cars. Some of Peugeot’s operations may be moved to UK plants to help with this.
At John Gibson Associates we will be watching the news carefully to see what happens with this story in the coming months and years. Our automotive recruitment services are available for businesses all across the sector and candidates looking for roles. We are happy to help and focus on offering the best for every party.