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Slowdown signs - New Opel owners may cut 4,500 jobs at German plants

The Die Welt paper, citing a source in the Austrian-Canadian components producer Magna, said that the new owners of GM Opel plan to cut some 4,500 jobs at the carmaker German plants.

Initially some 11,600 workers were expected to lose their jobs across Europe including 3,000 in Germany. However, no concrete figures have yet been announced. Mr Harald Lieske union head at the Eisenach plant said "Magna has not yet provided a business plan."

Under last week decision, the Magna-Sberbank consortium will own a 55% stake in Opel, the German carmaker itself will control 10% with GM retaining 35%. The new owners are set to leave Opel plants in Germany intact, but plan to close two production sites in Europe including a Belgian plant. German government guarantees and funds will not extend to Opel facilities in Russia.

The Magna-Sberbank consortium said it was ready to invest EUR 500 million in Opel. Magna and Sberbank will own their stake on a parity bas.

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