Call for talks over Vauxhall takeover bid

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Union Unite is calling for urgent talks with General Motors after it was revealed the PSA Group, owners of French car brands Peugeot and Citroen, is in talks to take over the GM European brands.

General Motors employs around 4,500 staff at its Vauxhall headquarters in Luton where it makes mainly commercial vehicles and its Ellesmere Port plant.

The move would see the French firm take control of GM brands Vauxhall and Opel and mark a complete withdrawal from Europe by General Motors, who announced a $257m (£206m) pre-tax loss from its European operations in 2016.

If successful, the takeover would see PSA group become the second largest European car manufacturer behind Volkswagen in the European new car market.

Unite union leader Len McCluskey said he wanted urgent talks with GM.

“My priority now is to speak to General Motors to seek immediate assurances for the UK plants and this loyal workforce,” he said.

“I’ll also be seeking urgent conversations with the government, because everything must be done to secure our world-class automotive industry.”

In a statement yesterday, PSA group said: “General Motors and PSA Group regularly examine additional expansion and cooperation possibilities. PSA Group confirms that, together with General Motors, it is exploring numerous strategic initiatives aiming at improving its profitability and operational efficiency, including a potential acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall. SThere can be no assurance that an agreement will be reached.”