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Monday, 14 September 2009

Mandelson blows it

Last Friday, I called Lord Mandelson a flake because hedidn't have any sort of deal over British jobs at Opel/Vauxhall after it is sold to Magna. Now we see how true that is. Could it be that Mandelson speec on spending v cuts is designed to take away some of the flak?

Canadian car parts manufacturer Magna say they may cut as many as 10,500 jobs at Opel and Vauxhall in Europe. The Germans have agreed a deal with Magna that means some 2,600 job cuts in Germany.

That leaves another 7,900 to go elsewhere in Europe. The group employs a total of 54,500 workers across Europe, with 25,000 based in Germany, so by my calculation those redundancies will come from 25% of the 29,500 employees in the rest of Europe, or to put another way in Poland, Hungary, Spain, Belgium and the UK.

Now we don't know what the key decision factors are, but if I was looking at this dispassionately, I would have to say that Belgium and the UK were probably the highest cost centres, with both countries producing versions of the Astra.

Then again, Lord Mandelson says the two UK plants are secure. Perhaps, but does that include the jobs inside the plants?

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