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Sat, Jul 18, 2009 - Page 10 News List

RHJ expects 10,000 Opel job cuts at most: report

AP , BERLIN

Investor RHJ International SA would cut a maximum of 10,000 jobs at General Motors Corp’s (GM) Opel unit if successful in its bid for the European automaker, the company’s chief executive was quoted as saying yesterday.

Brussels-based RHJ is competing for a majority stake in Germany-based Opel with a consortium of Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc and Russian lender Sberbank.

“We will have to cut just under 10,000 jobs across Europe — no more,” RHJ chief executive Leonhard Fischer was quoted as saying in an interview with the Bild daily.

Fischer said that “we will maintain all four German Opel plants,” adding that he was aiming for cost savings of 800 million euros (US$1.13 billion) per year, Bild reported.

Adam Opel GmbH’s future appeared clear at the end of May when, with the German government’s support, a preliminary agreement was signed for the Magna-led consortium to move ahead with a rescue of the unit.

The situation has since become murkier, with RHJ saying this week that its own negotiations with GM are “at an advanced stage” and China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (北京汽車工業) also bidding.

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