PSA Peugeot Citroen’s top boss has played down the threat to General Motor’s Vauxhall factories in Britain if the French carmaker takes over GM’s Europe operations – that is Opel and Vauxhall.
In London on Friday Carlos Tavares met Britain’s business minister Greg Clark and Len McCluskey, the head of the UK’s biggest union Unite, who are worried about job losses.
He has already discussed the GM deal with Prime Minister Theresa May and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, by phone.
Clark said he “was assured that the commitments to the plants would be honoured” with PSA keen to “increase market share and expand production rather than close plants”.
McCluskey spoke of talks that were “relatively positive” and “pro-union” adding Tavares had “talked in terms of not being here to shut plants”.
As well as potential job losses, there are issues about GM Europe’s pension fund which is underfunded by around 8.5 billion euros, almost one billion euros of that for Vauxhall.
The UK business minister said there was “recognition that members of the Vauxhall pension fund will be no worse off”.
In a statement PSA said Tavares had reaffirmed “his commitment to conduct this dialogue in accordance with existing agreements and the ethical approach of the PSA Group.”