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Mandelson keen to hear of Vauxhall's future in the UK

The head of Vauxhall/Opel will meet with the UK Government and Unite union to discuss Vauxhall.

Nick Reilly, who General Motors has put in charge of its European operation since deciding not to sell it, will have discussions with Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Unite head Tony Woodley.

Although GM cancelled its proposed sale of Vauxhall/Opel to Magna, it will still need to restructure the manufacturing operation in Europe, reducing the workforce by around 10,000 jobs.

In the UK, Vauxhall's Luton and Ellesmere Port plants employ 5,500 people.

Reilly said all the European plants would know their fate in the next fortnight.

"We know it is disturbing and unsettling to have this hanging over your head for such a period of time and so we intend to take that decision in a relatively short period of time, approximately two weeks or so," he said after a meeting in Belgium.

Lord Mandelson will want discuss GM's intentions for the Luton and Ellesmere Port factories - which GM has described as "lean and efficient".

In the US, GM said on Monday it would start paying back its government loans earlier than expected, making its first payment of $1.2bn (£717m) to the US government in December.

GM had not been required to begin repaying the loan until 2015.

 

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