PSA Group’s German division Opel will cut up to 4,100 jobs, joining rivals around the globe in retrenching amid a sales slowdown and technological disruption.
The cuts will be focused at German factories in Ruesselsheim, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern, where Opel will reopen a voluntary leave program for employees to eliminate 2,100 positions by 2025, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Additionally, the automaker agreed with labor representatives to have the option to cut another 2,000 positions in two tranches through 2029, a spokesman said.
“This agreement creates a further considerable improvement of our competitiveness,” Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller said in the statement.
Opel also said it had decided to invest further in the Ruesselsheim plant, where it will manufacture the next generation of the Opel Astra starting in 2021 as a five-door car and from 2022 as a station wagon. It said that decision was due to improvement in the plant's performance.
Opel’s workforce stands at roughly 30,000 employees, including more than 16,000 in Germany.
While PSA breathed life into Opel after acquiring the company from General Motors in 2017, German brands have been struggling to prove they’re ready to meet stricter emissions standards, which are almost impossible to meet without electric cars. Transitioning from the internal combustion engine could be taxing for its economy because plug-in cars require fewer parts and less labor to build.
Automakers are eliminating more than 80,000 jobs during the coming years, according to data Bloomberg News compiled in December. PSA announced plans late last year to merge with Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and has said no plants will close as a result of the deal.
Reuters contributed to this report.