French auto giant PSA announces new cuts at Opel
Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz
7 July 2018
Eleven months after the takeover of Opel by the French PSA Group, the next round of cuts has been announced. As reported by the French daily Le Monde on 3 July, the PSA board intends to sell off large parts of the International Technical Development Centre (ITEZ) in Rüsselsheim and the test track in Dudenhofen (Offenbach district).
Le Monde has seen internal information, according to which the negotiations with the engineering service Altran are already well advanced. The possible date for a contract is put at December this year. In addition to Altran, two other French car development companies, Akka and Segula, and the German Bertrandt are in discussion as potential buyers. Akka had already taken over part of the development department of Daimler in 2012.
In France, Altran has long been an important partner of the PSA Group. In fact, the auto industry outsources more and more R&D to external service providers to offset risks arising from modern electronic technology and the consequences of the growing global trade war. Thus, the pressure increases on jobs and achievements, as workers are fragmented into ever-newer subsidiaries and subcontractors.
The sell-off will affect about half of the approximately 8,000 technicians, engineers and developers who currently work at the ITEZ. A large part of these jobs would be put in danger. After the separation from General Motors, which also had a development operation in Rüsselsheim, there was an overcapacity of 40 percent at ITEZ, Le Monde quotes Opel development chief Christian Müller as saying.
Forgoing its own development department would also have consequences for the other Opel plants, which, like Eisenach, Kaiserslautern and…