Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad reaches for T-Mobile

Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

Business

'Less than 10,000' jobs to go if Fiat buys Opel

Latest update : 2009-05-22

Italian auto group Fiat has announced that its planned takeover of German carmaker Opel would involve "less than 10,000" job cuts in Europe if it were to go ahead, contrary to the figure of 18,000 put forward by a German daily.

AFP - Fiat will cut fewer than 10,000 jobs in Europe if the Italian auto giant wins its bid to take over General Motors subsidiary Opel in Germany, the group said in a statement Friday.

"The Fiat plan is for total employee reductions -- which would take place gradually and be distributed throughout Europe -- of less than 10,000," it said.

"The impact for the workforce in Germany, therefore, would be significantly lower than speculated," it added.

"For some time, comments have been circulating that, in the event Fiat were to acquire Opel, there would be approximately 18,000 redundancies in Germany," the statement said.

"These comments are entirely unfounded."

Fears of massive, swift job cuts have persisted since early this month German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, purportedly citing a leaked internal document, said Fiat would cut 18,000 jobs and close or scale down 10 factories in Europe if the Opel deal goes through.

Fiat issued a categorical denial of the reprot the next day.

Opel employs 25,000 people directly in Germany, and its future is a major concern for the Berlin government.

Fiat on Wednesday made a formal offer to take over Opel as well as Britain's Vauxhall, two European subsidiaries of General Motors which is on the verge of bankruptcy and being restructured with US government help.

Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne believes the Italian auto giant stands a better than even chance of pulling off its takeover bid for Opel, reports said on Thursday.

The Canadian firm Magna, with support from Russian manufacturer GAZ, and Brussels-based RHJ International, whose main shareholder is the founder of the US investment fund Ripplewood, also submitted offers.

The final decision on Opel, as well as other units of GM Europe including Britain's Vauxhall and Sweden's Saab, lies with General Motors itself and with the US government, but Berlin will sweeten any deal with loan guarantees.

Fiat, which has already sealed a tie-up with Chrysler, wants to combine GM's European, Latin American and South African operations with Chrysler's to create the world's second largest carmaker behind Japan's Toyota.

Fiat earlier negotiated a 20 percent stake in bankrupt Chrysler in exchange for its production technology and can increase that to a controlling 51 percent share in the US auto maker as long as Chrysler repays state aid.

Date created : 2009-05-22

COMMENT(S)