January 11, 2018 / 11:05 AM / 7 days ago

After job cuts, Peugeot appoints new UK Vauxhall boss

LONDON (Reuters) - Peugeot-maker PSA said on Thursday it had appointed sales and marketing officer Stephen Norman to lead its British Vauxhall brand and Irish Opel unit, just days after the French carmaker announced further job cuts in Britain.

Peugeot acquired Vauxhall last year when it bought General Motors’ loss-making European arm and has been pursuing a restructuring plan to return it to profitability.

On Monday it announced another 250 job losses at its Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire on top of 400 cuts last year, reducing the workforce by a third to make it more efficient, renewing workers’ fears about the future.

Norman joined PSA Group in May 2014 as Chief Marketing Officer and was appointed Senior Vice President, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer in 2016.

He will take on his new role as managing director at Vauxhall in Britain and Opel in Ireland from Feb. 1, succeeding current boss Rory Harvey.

Norman faces the challenge of defending Ellesmere Port with Peugeot due to decide as soon as this year whether to build new cars at the site, in the latest test of Britain’s ability to attract investment as it leaves the European Union.

He will also have to tackle sliding sales in what has traditionally been Opel-Vauxhall’s biggest market, with car demand sliding 22 percent in 2017, compared with an overall market decline of 5.7 percent, according to industry data.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

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