Thousands of jobs are at risk in Luton and Ellesmere Port after PSA Group, the owner of the Peugeot brand, has announced it is in talks to buy General Motor’s European arm.
General Motors employs around 35,000 people in the UK under the Vauxhall banner, including 4,500 staff at car plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton and 23,000 in its retail network.
Significant job cuts could be in line after PSA, which has worked with GM in Europe since 2012, said it was exploring ‘strategic initiatives’.
The announcement comes after US car giant GM said in October it was prepared to ‘take whatever action is necessary’ after taking $400 million hit from the pound’s value crash following Brexit.
That could mean letting go of its European arm, which has been struggling for years now. The firm recently announced it would be raising UK car prices by 2.5 per cent in order to deal with the “speed bump” Brexit had presented to its plans.
But the move could be far more severe than that. Job cuts to its plants in Luton and Ellesmere Port could be on the cards if GM decides to cut its European arm.
Ironically, although somewhat typically, the job cuts would hit two areas which voted to leave the European Union in the referendum last year.
Both Luton and neighbouring Central Bedfordshire voted to leave the EU. In the north, Cheshire West voted to leave along with Cheshire East and Halton, covering Ellesmere Port.