Saturday 20 August 2016 5:26 pm

Vauxhall owner Opel says it has been forced to cut staff hours in German factories following Brexit

Vauxhall owner Opel has confirmed it will cut hours at two German plants after seeing lower demand for vehicles in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

Opel, which is a division of General Motors, said it was recording a slip in demand for the Corsa and Insignia models. The UK is the largest market for both models.

"We can confirm that there will be short-time work in the plants in Ruesselsheim and Eisenach during the course of this year," Opel said in a statement, adding that the number of days when shorter working hours apply would depend on the sales volume of the Insignia and the Corsa in the UK

"The Brexit situation is an issue for everybody who does business in and with the UK at the moment and we already announced last month that there will be an impact on our European financial performance if the value of the pound remains at its current level for the rest of the year," it said.

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It comes after General Motors last month warned it may face up to $400m in headwinds from the result of the UK's referendum, in part because the drop in the value of sterling made components imported from Europe to the UK more expensive.

According to Reuters, the Astra, and the Opel Sports Tourer, both built at Ellesmere Port, source their engines from factories in continental Europe.

GM also has a factory in Luton, where the Vivaro van is made. It also has factories in Zaragoza in Spain, Ruesselsheim and Eisenach in Germany, and Gliwice in Poland.