PSA-owned Opel to shed up to 2,100 jobs
Opel is to cut up to 2,100 jobs, the German car brand confirmed on Tuesday, as it battles 'ever-stricter' emissions regulations.
Opel - part of France's Groupe PSA - said it had struck an agreement with the general works council, under which a deal to rule out forced redundancies has been extended by two years to 2025. It also announced "further investments" in the Rüsselsheim plant, which will produce the five-door Opel Astra from 2021 and the estate version from 2022.
But Opel has also reopened a voluntary leave programme for employees across its Rüsselsheim, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern plants, up to a maximum of 2,100 positions. Employees aged 57 and over will be able to participate in partial retirement programmes, the firm said.
In a statement, the company said: "In the context of far-reaching changes with regard to the ever-stricter CO2 regulations that the entire automotive industry is facing, Opel’s management and the Opel general works council have agreed extensive measures to secure employment and further increase Opel’s competitiveness."
Opel chief executive Michael Lohscheller said: "This agreement creates a further considerable improvement of our competitiveness. With the allocation of the next generation Astra, we aim at safeguarding the future in times of massive transformation.
"At the same time, this agreement gives our employees long-term protection."
The German car manufacturing industry has long been the driving force of the country’s economy. However, the Volkswagen emissions scandal and subsequent moves by the European Union to slash emissions have taken their toil on the sector, as it looks to move away from polluting petrol and diesel cars towards electric or hybrid models.
Opel, which PSA acquired from General Motors Co in 2017, currently employs around 30,000 workers.