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New Vauxhall owner gives plant assurance

By Alan Jones

French car giant PSA Group has sought to play down fears of plant closures, after confirming it is to buy the European operations of General Motors, including Vauxhall in the UK, for £1.9bn.

The announcement ends weeks of speculation about the deal and its impact on thousands of jobs at Vauxhall plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton, as well as in supply companies.

Unite leader Len McCluskey said that workers at the plants had endured a "nerve-racking" few weeks and needed assurances over the long-term future of the factories.

Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of PSA, said employees at Vauxhall, and Opel in Germany, would be given a chance to reach the necessary "benchmark" of efficiency.

"We do not need to shut down plants. We believe we need to trust the talents of people. They always come up with ideas and solutions we could not imagine. Shutting down plants is rather simplistic," he said, adding PSA had improved the efficiency of Peugeot and Citroen models without closing any plants.

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