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General Motor chief in United Kingdom amid fears over Vauxhall jobs

European politicians and union leaders moved to protect jobs on Friday, following this week's surprise announcement that General Motors Co. was in advanced talks to sell its German Opel and British Vauxhall units to French vehicle maker Peugeot.

"We agreed to remain in close contact during the period ahead".

Vauxhall is a major employer in the United Kingdom, with around 35,000 staff, including 23,000 in its retail network, 300 at a customer contact centre in Luton and 7,000 in its supply chain alongside workers at its two factories.

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"I emphasised the importance and successful presence of Vauxhall in the United Kingdom and welcomed GM's recognition of the excellent and committed workforce at Ellesmere Port, Luton and across the United Kingdom", he said in a statement. GM is considering selling its European brands due to suffering continual losses in the region.

However, Mr Clark struck a more positive note, saying the GM talks had been "constructive".

It would have a 16% share of the market and see Vauxhall and Opel shift to the French government-backed automotive giant.

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As the narrative goes, GM's departure from Europe sets the stage for a strategic alliance with Fiat Chrysler, which already has a secure foothold in the European market. The report says the CEO was anxious Opel would not have the resources under GM ownership to pursue both internal-combustion and electric powertrains.

Vauxhall's 35,000strong workforce includes 23,000 in its retail network, 300 at a customer contact centre in Luton and 7,000 in its supply chain alongside workers at its two factories.

Senior executives, including Neumann, may have known about the talks between GM and PSA Group beforehand, but top managers were reportedly surprised by the announcement that discussions of a potential acquisition were underway.

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