The future of Vauxhall Motors could be revealed tomorrow (Monday).
News sources are reporting the French PSA Group, which owns Peugeot and Citroen, will announce it is to acquire GM’s European operation which includes Vauxhall plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton.
A deal is said to have been reached with the US car manufacturer with the prospect of an announcement by PSA and GM in Paris.
Approval for the move by the PSA board was reached on Friday according to a report.
PSA would become Europe’s second largest manufacturer in terms of market share overtaking Renault. Volkswagen is the largest.
Last month’s announcement that talks were taking place around a possible deal sparked widespread concern over possible job cuts.
Unions in France, Germany and the UK are said to have been informed of the arrangements.
It is suggested the companies hope to announce the deal before the Geneva Motor Show which starts on Tuesday.
PSA chief Carlos Tavares has said the acquisition offers an ‘opportunity to create a European car champion’ with the possibility the enlarged company could sell more than 5m vehicles a year.
But PSA is also believed to be aiming to cut as much as £1.7bn in annual costs by combining Peugeot and Citroën with Opel and Vauxhall.
The deal is likely to include a plan for Vauxhall and Opel’s growing pension deficit which analysts believe could be in the region of £1bn.
Vauxhall employs 4,500 workers at Ellesmere Port and Luton.
Mr Tavares has already held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, business secretary Greg Clark and Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey about the deal offering assurances about existing production commitments being met.
This suggests Ellesmere Port could stay open until at least 2021 turning out the current Astra.
Mr Tavares has also pointed out PSA does not have a track record for shutting plants although Sir Vince Cable, business secretary between 2010 and 2015 who was involved in previous talks to keep production in Ellesmere Port, has warned that Britain’s exit from the EU could lead to cuts at Vauxhall.
Mr Clark has promised the government’s ‘unbounded commitment’ to protecting jobs at the company.