GM Europe’s head, Nick Reilly, has suggested that the job losses at Vauxhall UK may not be as bad as was feared. Before GM did a U-turn with the sale of Vauxhall/Opel, Magna agreed with Vauxhall to cut 800 jobs, no forced redundancies, and keep the Luton and Ellesmere Port plants open. Then, GM realised they liked Vauxhall/Opel so much, they kept the company and put its European operations back at square one. So far, with “New GM” in control, the results can be summed up in 4 words: Annoyed the German government.
In the first face-to-face meeting between GM and UK ministers, Mr Reilly said that there may be a chance to “quite significantly” cut the number of excess jobs from Magna’s original figure of 800 jobs. This means that future of Vauxhall’s 2 UK sites is looking good for survival especially since the BBC reports that Mr Reilly was unsure about whether it would shut entire plants. Naturally, there were government loans at the bottom of this affair, but amounts weren’t disclosed. Whilst all this is good for the UK economy, it actually leads to a bigger problem. You see, GM Europe has openly stated that it needs to cut 10,000 jobs across Europe. If UK is taking less than 800 of that figure and Germany has been touted as taking 4000, that still leaves over 5000 jobs which needs to be cut. Spain and Belgium should be on their guard.