Magna set to slash thousands of jobs at Opel and Vauxhall

CARMAKER Opel could slash as many as 10,500 jobs under a massive restructuring by new owner Magna, bosses at the Canadian car parts maker said yesterday.<br /><br />Co-chief executive for Magna Siegfried Wolf said the cuts could take over a year to carry out.<br /><br />The news comes days after car giant General Motors (GM) agreed to sell 55 per cent of its GM Europe arm &ndash;&nbsp; which makes Vauxhall cars in the UK &ndash; to Magna.<br /><br />Only 2,600 of the jobs cuts are expected to take place in Germany, where the bulk of GM Europe&rsquo;s staff are based, after Berlin gave substantial financial backing to Magna.<br /><br />Germany leant &euro;1.5bn (&pound;1.2bn) to keep Opel afloat, and is giving an additional &euro;3bn to Magna. <br /><br />Between 7,500 and 8,500 jobs are expected to go elsewhere in Europe.<br /><br />GM employs 54,500 people around Europe, 25,000 of which are in Germany.<br /><br />Vauxhall employs around 5,000 people in the UK at its Ellesmere Port and Luton factories, and unions have voiced concerns over the future of the plants.&nbsp; <br /><br />Prime Minister Gordon Brown and business secretary Lord Mandelson are both holding meetings with unions, GM and Magna in a bid to safeguard jobs.