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General Motors announces major U-turn on GM Europe

Despite months and months of negotiations with the Canadian consortium Magna as well as the German government, General Motors has today announced plans to retain GM Europe and called off the expected disposal. Initially the move has been welcomed in the UK where unions believe this will offer more job security to the Opel division which employs thousands of workers in the country. But what about the long-term future?

There are concerns regarding the GM Europe van plant at Milton with around 1500 jobs at risk although the move to retain the business should secure the 2000 jobs at the company's Ellesmere Port factory. The potential takeover of GM Europe had in the eyes of many people been hijacked by the German government as it looked to retain as many German jobs as possible, with the likelihood that redundancies would be required in the UK and other European countries.

The move is a massive snub to the German government and Magna and can only worsen the strained relationship between General Motors and the German government. However, when you consider Germany is the largest European base for GM Europe there is a need for both parties to get around the table as soon as possible and resolve their differences.

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