Peugeot-Vauxhall: UK and Germany raise concerns on deal talks

Len McCluskey, the Unite union leader, said he welcomed a "positive" meeting with the UK's business secretary about the tie-up, saying he had "responded to our call that the government needs to be involved".

After making billions of dollars in losses since the start of the century, General Motors may be ready to off load Opel to French automaker PSA Group for about $1 billion, according to analysts at Evercore ISI.

Neumann is reported as knowing that GM was serious about selling Opel and had undertaken an alternative plan for Opel in order it safeguard it. Still, GM Europe failed to break even in 2016.

GM boss Mary Barra is reportedly travelling to Germany today together with board member Dan Ammann to talk to Opel board members.

PSA - which makes Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars - and GM already share production of SUVs and minivans.

German politicians are expressing concern about a possible takeover of General Motors' Opel division by France's PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars. It means the biggest auto industry merger or takeover since Fiat bought Chrysler at a knock-down price from the USA government in the wake of the global recession, and it's likely to trigger a major round of mergers and acquisitions in the vehicle world, with smaller brands vulnerable to buyout.

The purchase of Opel and its United Kingdom subsidiary Vauxhall would make Peugeot the second biggest auto maker in Europe, with potential annual European sales of over 2.4 million and a healthy 16 per cent market share. Any renewed effort is likely to center on finding ways to cut costs - and ultimately jobs -- because the two have overlapping product offerings. It would also see it overtake Renault, to place it second only to Volkswagen in terms of European sales reach.

The Vauxhall brand, purchased by General Motors in 1925, presently accounts for around one-fifth of Opel sales, with the United Kingdom traditionally being the largest market for the Corsa and Insignia. "This is my clear expectation regarding General Motors".

Spokespeople for Opel and the French government, which holds 14 percent of PSA, had no immediate comment.

The announcement from PSA, which is 14% owned by the French state, comes a week after USA carmaker GM reported a loss of $257m (£206m) from its European operations previous year.