Talks break down over future of Vauxhall parent company

Vauxhall workers are still waiting to find out the identity of the firm’s new owner after talks broke down in Germany over who will buy parent company General Motors Europe.

Fears are growing over the future of the car maker’s two UK plants as two of the bidders have said they will cut thousands of jobs in Europe, according to a BBC report.

GM employs 5,500 people in the UK – 2,200 at its Ellesmere Port, 1,500 at its manufacturing plant in Luton and 1,800 at its corporate headquarters and warehouse operations.

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, warned that unless the UK government backed GM’s UK plants, thousands of jobs would be lost.

Unite’s joint secretary Derek Simpson said: “It’s no good providing billions to the banks but buttons for manufacturing. Thousands of jobs are at stake at Luton and Ellesmere Port. Once lost they won’t return, our manufacturing capability and the UK’s R&D base will be left hamstrung.”

However UK business secretary Lord Mandelson said he had received “categorical assurances” about continued Vauxhall production.

“Vauxhall’s production in the UK is a main revenue and profit stream for GM,” he was quoted as saying. “There is no question of [GM] wanting to dispense with it.”

A Vauxhall spokesman would only confirm the firm was in negotiations with “a number of investors”.

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