Belgium Plant, as Efficient as German Factory

The Antwerp plant in Belgium is still at risk to be closed but Belgian regional premier Kris Peeters claims that halting production at this particular facility has absolutely no economic grounds at this point. Peeters sent a letter to European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes on Wednesday explaining that the Belgium plant is "just as efficient" as the Bochum plant in Germany that will maintain the same level of production after the Magna takeover.

"I want to ask the Commission carefully to analyse and compare the available data of the various factories in the Opel group and to see if non-commercial protectionist conditions are bound to the business plan," Peeters said in a statement according to a report by Reuters.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson confirmed at the Frankfurt Auto Show last month that the plant is indeed at risk but a decision is yet to be made.

"That plant has been under evaluation for some time; no final decision has been taken. But it's certainly at risk," he said.

On the other hand, officials involved in the talks claimed Magna hasn't discussed the possibility of a closure, with employees saying they are ready to fight to keep the plant open.

"We have not been told that Antwerp will be closed. Magna has not said that the Antwerp factory is going to close," Rudi Kennes of Belgium's FGTB trade union told German HR-Info radio. "If we don't fight today for the future of Antwerp, it will be the same thing at another plant tomorrow," Peter Scherrer, German head of the European metalworkers federation (FEM), told AFP.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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