Shorter shifts for Opel workers on Brexit vote | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.08.2016
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Shorter shifts for Opel workers on Brexit vote

German carmaker Opel has warned it will have to cut hours for its factory workers. The European subsidiary of General Motors said the move came in response to slowing sales after the UK's Brexit vote.

Opel executives said Friday they would have to cut workers' shifts at its German factories in Rüsselsheim and Eisenach.

About 5,000 employees producing the Insignia and Corsa models would be affected, the company added.

"We cannot confirm the exact number of days that will be cut," the firm said in a statement. "That will depend heavily on the sales volume of both models in the UK."

Another speed bump

GM-owned Opel sells more cars in Britain under its Vauxhall brand than in any other European country. But slowing sales and a weaker pound are likely to hit the carmaker's financial results this year, potentially stalling its emerging recovery after years of hard times.

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GM had reported its first quarterly profit in Europe since 2011 between April and June. But the Brexit effect could hold the group back from booking a profit across Europe for a whole year.

GM estimated it could be $400 million (353 million euros) worse off because of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

"This is another speed bump along the way, but we're just going to have to deal with it," GM Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said in a statement.

hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)

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