September 14, 2009

Magna confirms job cuts at Opel, Vauxhall

A top Magna International Inc. executive said the purchase of Opel and Vauxhall would include reducing the workforce by about 10,500 workers.

General Motors Co. agreed last week to sell 55 percent of its European operations to the Canadian auto parts supplier in a joint venture with Russia's Sberbank.

Magna had warned of job cuts before GM's board selected its bid, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

On Monday, co-Chief Executive Officer Siegfried Wolf confirmed the job reductions.

Wolf said 4,500 jobs would be cut in Germany, where Opel is made. The operations currently include 25,000 employees in Germany, 5,500 in Britain -- where Vauxhall brand cars are made -- and thousands more in other countries.

In the deal struck with Magna, GM would retain 35 percent of the company. Magna and Sberbank would own 55 percent. Opel employees are to own the remaining 10 percent.