Business minister Greg Clarke is rumoured to have met the chief executive officer of Groupe PSA, Carlos Tavares, after the manufacturer announced cuts to its Vauxhall workforce in Britain.

A source told Reuters on Wednesday that Clarke was meeting Tavares in Paris, to discuss PSA’s planned cuts to the employees at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port production plant. The meeting had been “in the diary for quite a while”.

Groupe PSA dismissed the meeting as “business as usual” for Tavares, but in a separate statement said its representatives would be meeting employees’ unions, though not specifically on the issue.

PSA, which acquired the Opel/Vauxhall business from GM, announced in October that it would cut 400 positions at the site, and subsequently raised the number by another 250.

In November, Opel/Vauxhall pledged to ride the electrification wave to return profitable by 2020. The announcement came after Tavares warned that a failure to turn balance sheets around would spell “very serious” consequences for the newly-acquired business.

In related news, Stephen Norman has been appointed as Opel/Vauxhall managing director for the British Isles, replacing Rory Harvey from February 1. Norman joined PSA in 2014, and comes from a tenure as senior vice president with responsibilities for sales.

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