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PSA does not guarantee employment in Figueruelas and excludes Spain in its tour to pave the purchase of Opel

Automotive News
  • Carlos Tavares, president of the group, has already explained his intentions
  • Figueruelas participates indirectly, manufactures 40% of the carsCarlos Tavares, CEO of the PSA Group, met last week with heads of governments and major unions in France, Germany and the United Kingdom to seek access to their intention to buy the Opel and Vauxhall businesses. However, no meeting with the Spanish authorities was included in the agenda of the PSA chief, although 40% of the production of the school for sale is concentrated in Figueruelas (Zaragoza). | The PSA Group continues its global expansion: it buys the Ambassador brand to land in India.

    In the absence of information on the ground, the Aragonese plant lives these days with the uncertainty of the maintenance of the production commitments as soon as there is a change of owners in Opel. At the end of last year it was planned to double the workload of the General Motors brand in the Aragonese plant with a view to 2025, but that project has now been left in question.

    Tavares has met with the French Economy Minister, Michel Sapin, whom he sought to reassure about the labor impact of the purchase and subsequent integration of Opel into PSA. On this same subject, Tavares spoke on Sunday, February 19, with French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. For his part, the president of PSA also arranged a meeting with the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

    Although the governments of Spain and Aragon are not participating directly in the negotiations, the truth is that there have been contacts with the plant Opel Spain in Figueruelas in order to show their support and collaboration, to ensure the Future of the Zaragoza factory. These contacts have not gone further so as not to interfere in the negotiation process. This is justified by the Opel España works council because it is considered “not the right time”, since there is a commitment on the part of PSA to maintain the employment and the commitments made between the workers’ representatives with GM. “It’s what we’re interested in. We want to continue making cars,” trade union sources have told the Economist.

    Opel is not part of the negotiations either. The automobile company’s company committee requested a meeting with the management to obtain more information about the process and the possible consequences for the Zaragoza plant, after the news of the possible operation was known. A meeting for which there is no date yet, because no more data is available.

    Initially, the Opel España works council positively values ​​PSA’s interest in General Motors’ business in Europe, as it is a solvent company and because Opel would remain as an independent company. This situation would benefit the Aragonese plant, since it is very well positioned within the firm, both for competitiveness and costs. However, there are open fronts as the negotiation of the new collective agreement – the current ends this year – and what will happen with the Opel Corsa, the star model of Figueruelas, beyond 2018-2019.

Antonio Lorenzo / Eva Sereno (Zaragoza)  – 27/02/2017 – EL ECONOMISTA (Translation Soft)

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