The PSA subsidiary has since its takeover in 2017 already cut some 6,800 jobs in response to a drop in demand.

In a difficult context for the automotive sector, which is going through an expensive transformation towards electricity and is facing a drop in sales, Opel announced Tuesday January 14th to want to cut 2,100 additional jobs in Germany with an early departure plan for the retirement.

Employees born before 1963 can opt for early retirement. The manufacturer also excludes the layoffs until July 2025, as part of an agreement with the unions which should allow “a new and clear improvement in our competitiveness,” said Michael Lohscheller, boss of Opel, quoted in a press release. The historic Rüsselsheim factory will also benefit from investments to produce new models there in 2021, the company specifies.

The German automaker, a subsidiary of PSA engaged in a vast restructuring, has since its acquisition in 2017 already cut some 6,800 jobs in response to a drop in demand which has led to overcapacity in its factories.

Extensive restructuring

The restructuring comes at a time when “increasingly stringent CO2 emission standards are causing major upheavals in the automotive industry” , Opel notes. The European automobile industry is committed to forced electrification of engines, forced to quickly reduce its CO2 emissions to meet the limits imposed by the European Union from this year.

Opel was turned around in less than eighteen months after it was bought by PSA in 2017 to post profits after twenty years of losses. But the manufacturer has seen its share of the European market decline for several years and wants to lower its production costs. In recent months, the major German automotive groups have already announced some 40,000 job cuts to save money while production in the country of the sector, long pillar of German industry, fell in 2019 to its lowest level for 22 years.