RHJ International, the Belgian group vying to buy Vauxhall/Opel says it has no plans to close the car firm’s two manufacturing plants in Britain at Luton and Ellesmere Port.
RHJ and Magna International are the two companies bidding to take a controlling stake in General Motors Europe. It had been thought that a new owner would close at least one of the UK plants and ditch the Vauxhall brand as part of a cost-cutting drive.
However, RHJ chief executive Leonhard Fischer says that if his company is successful it would lay off 10,000 of GM Europe’s 58,000 staff. The cuts would be spread across its operations, and he said there was no intention of shutting the UK factories.
He also rejected suggestions that, if successful, the company would sell GM Europe back to GM of America in a few years time.
RHJ is also planning to cut the amount of state funding needed to underwrite its bid for Vauxhall/Opel, in an effort to win favour in Germany and edge out Magna International.
RHJ plans to tell the German and other European governments that it needs 3.6 billion euros of taxpayer-funded loan guarantees, compared with its current 3.8bn euros request or the 4.5bn euros being sought by Magna.
Source: Financial Times