Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 14 News List

British PM to meet PSA chief to talk Vauxhall takeover

AFP, LONDON

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to meet with PSA Group chief executive officer Carlos Tavares to discuss its plans to take over the European arm of General Motors Co (GM), which includes Britain’s Vauxhall cars, her office said on Saturday.

“We have received a meeting request. The meeting will take place, in principle, subject to diary availability,” a British government spokesman told reporters.

It emerged last week that PSA, which owns the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, is in talks to take over GM’s European brands Opel and Vauxhall.

The plans have sparked fears of job losses in Britain, where Vauxhall employs about 35,000 people, as well as in Germany.

Len McCluskey, the general-secretary of Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, is also due to meet with Tavares next week.

“I will be using this meeting to press the case for the UK’s world class facilities and workforce,” he said.

British Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark met with GM president Dan Ammann in London on Thursday.

He said he was “reassured” by the US firm’s plans for its European interests, adding that GM had recently made “significant investments” at its Ellesmere Port and Luton plants.

Clark later traveled to Paris for meetings with French Minister of Industry Christophe Sirugue and PSA board members.

The Financial Times on Saturday reported that, during those talks, Clark offered PSA similar assurances to those given to Nissan Motor Co last year in a bid to save Vauxhall jobs.

The UK’s automobile sector is expected to suffer from Brexit, which would entail leaving the EU’s single market.

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