Fears of job cuts if Fiat buys Opel continue to grow
6 May 2009

A Labour MP is demanding government action to ensure jobs are not lost at Vauxhall if Fiat goes ahead with plans to buy Opel.

Fiat is one of several companies in talks to buy Opel and Vauxhall, but has been told by German government officials that one of the conditions of sale will be that no German factories are shut down.

Click here to read about Fiat's proposed takeover of Vauxhall and Opel

That has led to speculation that there will be job losses and closures at Vauxhall's UK plants, as the UK government has not set out any demands for the sale of Vauxhall.

Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port, is due to meet Ian Pearson, the business minister, to press the case for workers at the plant.

"Britain accounts for a fifth of GM's worldwide production and we have a plant where there has been massive investment for the new vehicle."

Miller conceded, however, that investment in recent years at Ellesmere Port should help protect it.

"Fiat will have to borrow to buy the company and one has to ask whether anyone lending the money would want to shut down a flagship operation," he said.

General Motors European arm has plants in Britain, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Poland.

Most industry observers believe jobs would have to go afte a takeover by Fiat, with speculation suggesting GM's plants in Belgium and Germany are most vulnerable.

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