May 10, 2012 / 5:44 PM / 6 years ago

Opel says no engineering jobs at risk from Peugeot

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - General Motors’ (GM.N) loss-making European unit Opel does not plan to eliminate white collar engineering jobs at its Ruesselsheim development centre as a result of cooperating with PSA Peugeot (PEUP.PA).

Red balloons and a flag of German metall worker union IG Metall (IGM) are seen at the statue of Adam Opel, founder of German car manufacturer Opel during a demonstration in front of the historical headquarters of the company in Ruesselsheim, 20km (12.4 miles) from Frankfurt, May 8, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

“GM/Opel and PSA have made it clear that they want to work together in various areas, including product development. No jobs will be lost in the Opel technical development centre, however joint projects are divvied up concretely in the end,” Chief Executive Karl-Friedrich Stracke said in a statement.

“The alliance is explicitly set up to be balanced,” he said, adding Opel was working hard to return to profitability as fast as possible despite the difficult European market conditions.

Including design and powertrain engineering, some 6,500 people are employed at the development centre, known by its acronym ITEZ.

The centre is best known for developing GM’s global architectures for compact and mid-size cars, like the Buick Regal and Chevrolet Cruze sedans and Opel Astra hatchback.

Earlier German magazine Der Spiegel reported that several hundred engineering jobs at ITEZ were endangered by plans to allow the next Zafira MPV to be developed by Peugeot.

Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; editing by James Jukwey

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