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Opel to deliver profits in 2020

Automotive News

New Opel owners do not guarantee employment beyond 2018

The chief executive of French automaker PSA has presented its action plan for Opel, the German company bought by PSA in March in an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), promising that “Opel will return to profits in 2020 “. The interview is published in conjunction with Opel’s resignation announcement, Karl-Thomas Neumann, who will notify the company’s supervisory board at its June 22 meeting and will step down as soon as the sale to the group is formalized French PSA.

The purchase of General Motors’ European subsidiary Opel-Vauxhall by PSA Peugeot Citroën was announced last March and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of the year. Neumann, head of the German automobile manufacturer since 2013, has noted his lack of chemistry with Tavares and has questioned whether the new management “recognizes the importance of electric mobility.” It has also cast doubts on the autonomy that the new owner may leave Opel and said it fears a centralization of decisions.

Tavares, in response, acknowledges in the interview in FAZ that Opel is a priority for PSA and that there is already a future plan in which

Details the strategy that will be followed in the medium and long term to reflate the business and return it to profits in three years. This plan will be announced and will begin to apply from September 12, coinciding with the start of the Frankfurt Motor Show, and ensures that in this new stage the former European subsidiary of the US group General Motors will continue to rely on the current Team of the company. “All the managers are invited to walk next to me. Just keep in mind that this can not continue as it has until now, “he adds, in statements that in Germany are interpreted as a direct reference to the expected output Neumann.

“Opel should remain as German as possible to complement the other brands,” Tavares underlined the independence and autonomy of the company, adding that the restructuring of the subsidiary must be carried out in areas related to export or distribution , Not to mention electric cars, which is why Opel has already made an important commitment. Even in the Vatican, a state determined to become the first carbon-free country in the world, Opel presented Pope Francisco last week with the keys to a new Ampera-e during the conference “Laudato Sì: La Sostenibilidad de la Communication and Innovation “. Opel, the Vatican City and the Italian energy company Enel have promised to create a sustainable mobility program and the Opel directive hoped that the development of the electric range would guarantee sales and employment over the next decade.

Tavares, meanwhile, says in the interview with rawness that does not guarantee beyond 2018 the work of the current 38,000 Opel employees. “In this sense one must be sincere: the only thing that protects the workers is the profits,” he said. These differences could still have consequences on the purchase operation.

The French group PSA announced in early March the acquisition of the European branch of General Motors, which included the German company Opel and the British Vauxhall, to become the second European automotive consortium behind the German leader Volkswagen. The operation, valued at 1.3 billion euros, was sealed with an agreement of intent, pending approval by the regulators of the respective countries, so it was estimated that it would be closed in the autumn. However, the sale was delayed until the end of the year due to Opel’s research and development center in the German town of Rüsselsheim, which employs around 7,700 people in the next models brand. Opel wants to make sure that all these employees continue their job before signing anything and just a month ago, PSA announced that the new Corsa, due to go on sale in 2019, would move from being supported by the Gallic group. Opel, however, believes it is best to continue with the development of this car without the help of the 13,000 research and development workers of the French conglomerate. Opel would also like to be in charge of developing a medium-sized SUV based on its latest Insignia, but that proposal is frozen indefinitely.

Opel, a company that has lost millions of dollars for 18 years, has about 38,000 employees in seven European countries, half of them in Germany.

ROSALÍA SÁMCHEZ – ABC – 06/13/2017 (Translation Soft)

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