Fiat/Opel to Can 18,000 Jobs, Close Ten Plants

The fact that the Italian manufacturer wants Opel is no longer a secret for some time now. The debate on the subject has now moved to the more human side of the possible merger, as German unions and newspapers try to estimate what a deal with Fiat could mean for the company's workforce.

According to a report posted by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the prospects are as dark as they can be and make Klaus Franz's 9,000 to 10,000 job cuts estimation seem over-optimistic. The newspaper says in all, 18,000 people will have to go from both Fiat and Opel. In addition, the new company will close ten assembly and component plants, including both UK-based Vauxhall and two Fiat factories in Italy. All in a timeframe between 2011 and 2016.

The first plant to go is said to be the one in Antwerp, Belgium, sometimes in 2011, followed by the ones in the UK. In Italy, the Pomigliano and the Termini Imerese plants will have the same fate. The closure will have an initial cost of around 1 billion euros, but will help the company save 282 million every year.

In the long run, sources in Opel supervisory board were cited by Reuters as saying that Marchionne also plans to kill off Saab, should he manage to take it over. Lancia is also targeted for termination.

As was to be expected, Fiat denied any such allegations. The Italians have released a statement in which they say that the report cited by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, called by the newspaper "Project Football", "does not come from Fiat and is not part of any plan prepared by the company."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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