A third of UK Vauxhall workers face the axe

Posted on 22 Sep 2009 by The Manufacturer

A report leaked to a national German newspaper shows Vauxhall’s new owner – the Canadian parts manufacturer Magna – plans to cut 1,400 jobs here in Britain.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungreports 11,000 jobs will be cut across Europe in total in a bid by General Motors Europe’s new owners to make the business profitable.

If the UK job loss figure is correct it will represent almost a third of the 4,475 workers split between the Ellesmere Port and Luton Vauxhall factories in the UK. It is thought the van making Luton plant will be the hardest hit in this country.

The countries which will suffer most are Spain, where 2,000 staff at a Saragossa based Corsa plant will lose their jobs, and Belgium, where 2,500 staff will be out of work when an Antwerp factory is closed.

Germany, the government of which was instrumental in enabling Magna to beat its rivals to the purchase of GM Europe, will lose 17 per cent of its Opel employees – 4,100 workers out of 24,000. None of the four German Opel factories are to close in a deal agreed as part of the provision of bridging loans from the German state to Magna.

Carl-Peter Forster, General Motors European division boss, said: “We always said that we would have to restructure in order to stay competitive in the long term, given the massive crisis in the car industry.”