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Saturday 30th of May 2009
May 28, 2009

Vauxhall’s UK plans won’t close says Mandelson


by Kay Murchie
”Vauxhall’s

It emerged earlier today that Vauxhall’s UK plants were at risk of closure after struggling US car maker General Motors (GM) moved to sell off its European arm, which includes Vauxhall and Germany’s Opel.

However, Business Secretary, Lord Peter Mandelson, has told Sky News that “there is no danger of Vauxhall’s UK plants closing”. However, Lord Mandelson did warn that some of the 5,500-strong workforce could lose their jobs at plants in Ellesmere Port (Cheshire) and Luton (Bedfordshire).

GM has a deadline of 1 June to restructure the business in order to achieve a multi-billion dollar loan from the Government to avoid bankruptcy protection.

So far, GM has received $15.4 billion in Government loans to prevent it from collapse, in the wake of plummeting sales.

The global economic downturn has resulted in a slump in demand for big-ticket items, particularly cars. This has affected carmakers worldwide with many cutting back on production, slashing jobs and seeking funding to see them through the downturn.

Governments throughout the world have been pumping billions of pounds into the industry in a bid to prevent car manufacturers from collapse.

Returning to GM, Lord Mandelson also told Sky News that Opel bidders (Italy’s Fiat and Canada’s Magna) “have made clear their continuing commitment to production through Vauxhall in the UK.”

Lord Mandelson’s comments follow those from Unite union boss Tony Woodley who claimed that the future of Vauxhall in the UK was in jeopardy and said: “Mr Woodley has not only confused everyone but he has done a great disservice to me, the Government and to the workers who will have listened to him and will be even more worried than before.”

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Tags: , closure, General Motors, GM, , Opel, plants, Tony Woodley, , Vauxhall

 

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