Groupe PSA owned Opel says it has now secured its future in Germany and is taking a further step on its way to becoming profitable, global and electric. 'Significant investments' will be made in R&D and the sites in Eisenach, Russelsheim and Kaiserslautern between 2018 and 2023.

As part of this investment, the Grandland X will be produced in the Eisenach plant as of mid-2019 in two shifts, including a hybrid version which will follow in 2020. The company will announce details on the planned investments for the other German sites at a later date.

The negotiating parties also agreed on a further important step to define the Engineering Centre in Russelsheim's future role in the global Groupe PSA R&D network: The Engineering Centre in Russelsheim will be responsible for the development of the next generation EP engine family. Previously, the Engineering Centre in Russelsheim had already received global responsibilities for Groupe PSA with the allocation of 15 centres of Competence. Furthermore, every future European Opel model will be developed in Russelsheim.

The carmaker also agreed on a new framework agreement with the social partners. It runs until July 2023 and includes an extensive package of measures to increase competitiveness. The exclusion of forced redundancies has been extended for the duration of the new agreement.
"This is a very important step in the implementation of the PACE! plan to make Opel fit for performance across Europe. And we are doing exactly what we promised. The increase of the competitiveness is allowing us to invest and secure a good future for our people," said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. "We are looking ahead after delivering on our commitment to not close any plants or announce any forced redundancies."

"We will ensure long-term utilisation of our German sites and thus protect employment – and this well into the next decade – with attractive models and high-quality components," said Lohscheller. "We are deeply rooted in Germany and our German plants are and will remain our backbone."

Measures to improve the competitiveness of Opel in Germany are part of the new agreement. Balancing collective wage increases with remuneration components above the general pay scale shall be possible in future. Furthermore, the additional payments agreed within the scope of the IG Metall collective agreement, which would be applicable as of mid-2019, have been cancelled for the duration of the new framework agreement. Any potential further wage increases as of 2020 will be postponed in their effectiveness for the duration of the contract.

Part of the agreement is also the departure of 3,700 employees in Germany based on the already successfully implemented voluntary programme approved by the social partners. Today, around 3,500 employees have already taken advantage of a voluntary programme.

"The measures agreed today are a further important milestone on the way to achieving the objectives of our PACE! strategic plan: To reach a recurring operating margin of two percent by 2020 and six percent by 2026," said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. "We are grateful for the important contribution of our German employees to making Opel successful again," added Lohscheller. "The intensive negotiations have been brought to a positive conclusion. I would explicitly like to thank our social partners for this."

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