Opel prepares cuts of up to 4,100 jobs as carmakers retrench

by BLOOMBERG

MUNICH • PSA Group’s German car-making division Opel Automobile GmbH plans to cut as many as 4,100 jobs, according to a person familiar with the matter, joining automakers around the globe in retrenching amid a sales slowdown and technological disruption.

Opel will eliminate at least 2,100 positions by 2025 and could take measures to slash another 1,000 workers twice in two-year increments through 2029, said the person, who asked not to be identified ahead of an official announcement.

The automaker was expected to brief employees yesterday, the person said. The 4,100 jobs would represent about 14% of Opel’s workforce of roughly 30,000 employees.

A spokesman for PSA declined to comment. PSA shares slipped 0.2% at 9:08am yesterday in Paris.

While PSA breathed life into Opel after acquiring it from General Motors Co 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 last year to merge with Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and has said no plants will close as a result of the deal.

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Opel’s plans to cut jobs earlier on Monday. — Bloomberg