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Opel promises no closures or layoffs

A plan unveiled on Thursday by German automotive manufacturer Opel to harness synergies with its new owner, Franceʼs PSA Group, will not involve plant closures or layoffs, Opel said in a statement cited by Hungarian news agency MTI.

"The plan is designed with the clear intention to maintain all plants and refrain from forced redundancies in Europe," Opel said in its statement. "The necessary and sustainable reduction of labor costs shall be reached with thoughtful measures such as innovative working time concepts, voluntary programs or early retirement schemes," it added.

Opel has a big engine plant in Szentgotthárd, at the westernmost point of Hungary. A spokesman for the local unit confirmed earlier in November that some contract laborers had been let go and that a further reduction in their number was expected this year because of changes to production volume.

Opelʼs plan to return the company to profitability envisions a faster switch to PSA vehicle architectures than originally expected. From 2024 onward, all Opel passenger car models will be based on PSA platforms, the statement said.

The PSA Group agreed to acquire Opel in the spring and the deal was cleared by the European Commission in the summer.

Opelʼs Hungarian plant turned out about 630,000 engines last year, MTI noted.