The German government has vowed to protect jobs at Opel in the wake of news that General Motors, Opel’s parent company, is in talks to sell its European subsidiary to French automaker Peugeot.
“The federal and state governments will work closely together for the preservation of plants, jobs, research centers and company agreements,” Matthias Machnig, the deputy economics minister who will coordinate government talks with the car makers, unions and states, told Handelsblatt in an interview. Opel employs about 18,000 people in Germany.
Mr. Machnig called on General Motors and the PSA Group, Peugeot’s parent company, to include trade unions and works councils in the negotiations. Opel’s employee representatives, caught off guard by PSA’s takeover plans, issued a statement that was highly critical of the secretive talks. “Transparency must lead to trust again,” Mr. Machnig said.