Peugeot-GM contract offers no job guarantee

Peugeot-GM contract offers no job guarantee

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Peugeot-GM contract offers no job guarantee

GM chair Dan Akerson (L) poses with PSA Peugeot Citroen chair Philippe Varin. AFP photo

The French auto manufacturer Peugeot has given no guarantees on jobs as part of its alliance with US giant General Motors, Industry Minister Eric Besson said yesterday.

Besson told Radio Classique in an interview that during discussions with the head of PSA Peugeot Citroen, Philippe Varin, Varin had expressed “a very clear intention to consolidate its industrial base in France.”

But the French minister added: “I have no guarantees” that all workers would be retained as GM and Peugeot consolidate their operations in Europe, which experts says is affected by substantial excess capacity.

Besson was responding to a question about guarantees that PSA directors might have given the government with respect to the car maker’s “industrial perimeter” in France, where Peugeot is the leading auto manufacturer.

Sector analysts believe it likely that some plants owned by Peugeot or GM’s European brands Opel and Vauxhall will close, and while the government owns no shares in Peugeot it closely tracks issues that could affect unemployment.

Possible consequences of partnership
Besson told Radio Classique he did not want to paint a dark picture with respect to the potential consequences of an alliance with GM, noting that PSA exports one of every two autos that it makes in France.

He added that the car company, which has six major plants in France, makes almost 40 percent of its investment and carries out 80 percent of its research and development there.