GM In Talks to Shut Down Opel’s German Plant in Bochum

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

General Motors has been working with German union leaders the last several days to work out the details of job guarantees and plant closings surrounding its Opel brand. Opel was almost sold by GM in 2009, but the company decided it could make another pass at possibly turning a profit in Europe. Unfortunately, GM has been losing money in Europe for the past 12 years and just in 2011 they lost $747 million. GM believes that it will take at least 2 more years before it sees a profit from its European division.

Despite the repeated attempts to keep the Bochum plant running, union leaders appear to be losing the battle. Negotiations are underway and the outcome looks like the plant will be shut down once Opel stops production of the Zafira Tourer van in return for a German jobs guarantee through 2016. Closing the plant though would result in the loss of 3,000 jobs once it takes place.

Not everything is looking grimm for Germany and GM though. Discussions are also underway on the possibility of moving all of its overseas production from Korea to Europe. A move like this could give Germany a boost since the country is already home to over half of Opel’s workforce.  More details on the future of the company will be discussed and voted on during June board meeting.


Source: Reuters
Photo by Verleihnix via flickr

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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