Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall plant is safe, says GM chief

General Motors president Dan Ammann has reassured the UK government that its Luton Vauxhall plant will not be ‘rationalised’.

Ammann has held crisis talks with the government today amid fears that the Luton plant could be axed as part of a potential takeover by Peugeot owner PSA Group.

It has been widely reported that PSA is considering making a bid for Opel, the struggling European arm of General Motors (GM).

If the deal was to go ahead it would also include the sale of Vauxhall, which has plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton, employing over 4,500 people.

The meeting saw Ammann discuss the company’s future with business secretary Greg Clark and Unite general secretary Len McCluskey in Westminster.

Clark said the talks were "constructive" and he was reassured that the plants would not be "rationalised".

He said: "I had constructive talks with GM this morning where I emphasised the importance and successful presence of Vauxhall in the UK and welcomed GM's recognition of the excellent and committed workforce at Ellesmere Port, Luton and across the UK."

"There is some way to go in discussions between GM and PSA, but I was reassured by GM's intention, communicated to me, to build on the success of these operations rather than rationalise them," Clark added.

Clark is also seeking a meeting with PSA Group at the earliest opportunity to discuss the proposed deal that would see Vauxhall and Opel shift to the French government-backed automotive giant.

The deal would see General Motors leave both the UK and Europe, while helping PSA Group become Europe's second-largest car maker with a 16% market share.

Vauxhall is a major player when it comes to the UK's burgeoning automotive sector, employing around 35,000 staff both directly and in the wider supply chain.