Opel, Vauxhall Seek To Avoid Forced Layoffs In Turnaround

2017 Opel Insignia

Opel reveals new strategy under PSA Group guidance

Opel will introduce at least two new cars in 2019 including the Corsa mini, with a larger SUV to follow among a total of nine models or variants promised by the following year - a more ambitious product blitz than previously announced. Another major achievement for Opel will be the task to "become a European CO2 leader".

"This plan is not a gimmick plan", Tavares said, adding that the engineering and design capabilities acquired with Opel/Vauxhall would help PSA Group as a whole achieve the ambitious goal of sharply cutting its vehicles carbon emissions as required under national and global rules.

It promised four auto models would have electric options by 2020, including a fully electric SUV and its sub-compact Corsa.

The changes looming at Opel-Vauxhall carry echoes of the tough-love approach Tavares employed when he took the helm at PSA in 2014, bringing it back from the brink of bankruptcy by slashing staff, freezing salaries and cutting per-unit costs.

According to Carbuyer, the forthcoming electric Corsa, plus a plug-in hybrid version, will be among four new electrified models that will join the Vauxhall line-up by 2024. First of all there's confirmation the rumors were entirely true - all Opel/Vauxhall models are expected to make a transition to PSA architectures even faster than reported, 2024 onwards, all passenger cars of the two brands will use technologies from within the French conglomerate.

The companies are hoping to see cost savings of around 1.1 billion euros ($1.7 billion) by 2020, with most of the savings coming through improved purchasing, research and development, and manufacturing costs.

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"The plan is designed with the clear intention to maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe", the group said. The necessary and sustainable reduction of labour costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes.

Altogether, the number of platforms Opel/Vauxhall uses for its passenger cars will be reduced from now nine to just two by 2024.

The plan calls for all future Opel products to transfer from their current GM-based parts, platforms, and engines, starting with the new Combo van next year, and the all-important new Corsa small hatchback in 2019.

Furthermore, the company, which is now mainly selling its cars in Europe, announced that it will enter more than 20 new markets.

With Opel having lost around US$10 billion ($13 billion) and shed 30,000 jobs over the last 15 years, stemming the tide of red ink is one of management's more immediate tasks.

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