Theresa May and Carlos Tavares, on Wednesday (22 February), discussed about protecting and promoting jobs at Vauxhall.

The telephonic conversation between the UK prime minister and the chairman of PSA Peugeot Citroen came amid concerns over General Motors' (GM) plan to sell its Vauxhall and Opel car businesses to the French automaker.

The American automaker's decision to sell the company could hit jobs in the UK, where Vauxhall employs more than 4,000 people across its plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton. PSA's takeover of the auto company could also affect thousands of jobs across retail and supply chains in the UK.

In a statement, Downing Street said, "The Prime Minister and Mr Tavares discussed the importance the UK attaches to Vauxhall's plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton and their shared desire to protect and promote the jobs it supports and what Mr Tavares referred to as the 'iconic' Vauxhall brand within the wider group.

"The Prime Minister reiterated the Government's commitment through our modern industrial strategy to creating and supporting the right conditions for the UK automotive industry to go from strength to strength, now and into the future.

"A particular shared goal was strengthening the UK's automotive supply chain. The Prime Minister and Mr Tavares agreed that they and the Business Secretary would remain in close contact as discussions progress to ensure UK interests continue to be at the forefront of any future deal."

This follows PSA reaffirming on Tuesday its commitment to adhere to existing agreements in the European countries and to continue talks with all parties concerned over its acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall business from GM.

In a statement, the French company said, "The Group is willing to closely cooperate with the European Works Council and IG Metall, to find jointly the path to create together with Opel-Management a European Champion with French-German roots to protect the future of the company and its employees."

Recently, Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said that concerns over jobs were increasing amid rumours spread by media.

"Vauxhall workers and their union Unite have yet to be advised of General Motors' plans but I say again to both auto makers and the UK Government, we will not accept any threats to UK plants and jobs. I will be reinforcing this when I meet with Carlos Tavares, the Peugeot head, this Friday," he was quoted as saying by Sky News.