Opel intends to slash hundreds of jobs in product engineering in Germany, according to an internal letter obtained by Automotive News Europe and drawn up by the IG Metall union. Specifically, the company will cut at most 1,420 product engineering posts at its international technical development facility in Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt.
The reduction come as parent company General Motors Co. pushes its European subsidiary to cut costs even more to make sure that the money-losing unit returns to profitability despite the European market going on a recession.
However, a spokesperson for Opel informed ANE that the figure disclosed by IG Metall is "factually wrong and excessively high" because the numbers include those who are not on the company's payroll such as employees of service providers and supplier staff.
He did not provide the actual number of jobs to be cut. Instead, he said that the vehicle manufacturer will require a fewer number of employees due to plans of improving efficiency in product development.
According to the sources of ANE, at least 200 employees will be provided severance payments when 550 positions are transferred from product engineering to the manufacturing engineering department, translating into at least 750 fewer posts in product engineering.
Meanwhile, the technical center has at least 6,000 people who develop vehicles for Opel and GM worldwide. [source: Autonews]