A man enters an Opel dealership in Strasbourg, France. File photo: REUTERS
A man enters an Opel dealership in Strasbourg, France. File photo: REUTERS

Munich — PSA Group’s German car-making division, Opel, will cut up to 4,100 jobs, joining rivals around the globe in retrenching amid a sales slowdown and technological disruption.

The cuts will be focused at German factories in Ruesselsheim, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern, where Opel will reopen a voluntary leave programme for employees to eliminate 2,100 positions by 2025, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Additionally, the carmaker agreed with labour representatives to have the option to cut another 2,000 positions in two tranches through 2029, a spokesperson said.

“This agreement creates a further considerable improvement of our competitiveness,” Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller said in the statement. The company will also invest more money into the Rüsselsheim plant.

Opel’s workforce stands at roughly 30,000 employees, including more than 16,000 in Germany. PSA shares fell as much as 1.3% and were down 0.2% at 1.29pm in Paris.

While PSA breathed life into Opel after acquiring the company from General Motors in 2017, German brands have been struggling to prove they’re ready to meet stricter emissions standards, which are almost impossible to meet without electric cars. Transitioning from the internal combustion engine that Germany invented could be taxing for its economy because plug-in cars require fewer parts and less labour to build.

Carmakers are eliminating more than 80,000 jobs during the coming years, according to data Bloomberg News compiled in December. PSA announced plans late in 2019 to merge with Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler and has said no plants will close as a result of the deal.

With Ania Nussbaum


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