PSA-owned Opel is to invest in a German manufacturing facility in a move that will safeguard its long-term future.

Opel said its management and the works council of the Kaiserslautern plant have 'set the course for increasing the long-term competitiveness of the site. The parties agreed among other things to invest in the construction of a facility for the hot-forming of steel'. As a result, Kaiserslautern will become only plant to use this technology in the Groupe PSA production network. Moreover, the social partners agreed to keep a constant eye on new investments to secure site utilisation. The common goal of the social partners is to maintain a healthy age structure in the plant.

According to the agreement, young skilled workers will be given permanent contracts. This also applies to the current trainees who successfully complete their training in the coming years up to 2023. In addition, the social partners agreed to hire 34 apprentices per year in the same period of time.

In order to lower the wage costs, additional employees may temporarily leave the company based on the existing social plan. The opportunity to participate in a partial retirement programme was extended to employees born in and before 1961.

"With the agreement, we sustainably secure the future of this traditional location. Our plant in Kaiserslautern will thus continue to be strengthened as an important pillar of Groupe PSA's global production network," said HR director Ralph Wangemann.

"Together with the management, we have reached a good agreement that will stabilise the Kaiserslautern plant and forms a good basis for further development," said Lothar Sorger, chairman of the Kaiserslautern works council.

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