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German car manufacturer Opel to pay first employee bonus since 1997
Last Updated: 2020-02-26 23:30 | Xinhua
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German car manufacturer Opel announced on Wednesday that its employees in Europe would each receive a one-time payment of 600 euros, "the first bonus in Germany since 1997."

French automobile manufacturer PSA, which bought Opel in 2017, published the results for the 2019 financial year on Wednesday. In 2019, Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall together achieved an operating profit of 1.1 billion euros.

"This is the first time in our 158-year history that we have exceeded the billion mark," said Michael Lohscheller, chief executive officer (CEO) of Opel and member of PSA's Managing Board.

After the takeover, several jobs, for example in purchasing, development or in the German sales company as well as in the plants, were shared across the PSA brand, an Opel spokesperson told Xinhua.

Across all PSA group brands, more than 17,000 employees currently work in Germany, the spokesperson said.

Together with the parent company PSA sand Saft, a wholly-owned subsidiary of French oil company Total, Opel has recently announced the establishment of a joint venture to produce battery cells for electric cars in the German city of Kaiserslautern.

Lohscheller added that his company's profits would allow it "to invest in our future." Saft, PSA and Opel would invest two billion euros in the planned battery cell production plant, where 2,000 jobs would be created.

Supported by the German government and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the "largest battery cell production plant for electric vehicles in Germany" is scheduled to start operations at the Opel site in Kaiserslautern in 2024, Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs abd Energy announced at the beginning of February. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars)

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