Magna seen cutting 4,000 Opel jobs in Germany

Magna seen cutting 4,000 Opel jobs in Germany
The end of the Opel-Magna love affair? Photo: DPA
Canadian auto parts maker Magna will cut more than 4,000 jobs in Germany when it takes over the Opel business of struggling US auto giant General Motors, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

Citing Magna’s strategic plan for GM’s European operations, the paper said nearly 11,000 jobs will be lost out of a total 45,730, affecting all sites and including the politically sensitive closure of the Antwerp plant in Belgium.

It said 4,116 jobs will be lost in Germany – 3,300 on the production line and 800 in administration – out of a total workforce there of 24,700. Despite the job cuts, Magna will keep open all four German Opel plants but the Bochum site will see nearly 2,200 jobs go as production is moved to Austria.

With the closure of the Antwerp plant, 2,517 workers will lose their jobs, the paper reported. Another 2,090 more will go in Spain, 1,373 in Britain at the Vauxhall brand and 437 in Poland.

Earlier this month, GM announced the sale of a majority stake in Opel to Magna and its partner, Russian state-owned lender Sberbank.

Magna was the candidate favoured by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces national elections this weekend, on the grounds it would limit job losses in Germany.

Belgium, Spain and Britain have all raised concerns that the Opel sale to Magna would see them at a disadvantage compared to Germany which has backed the deal with €4.5 billion ($6.6 billion) in state aid.

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