GM Promises to Keep German Opel Plants Open

While rumors are pointing to dramatic changes in Opel's European business, General Motors promises to keep all German plants open but will attempt to reduce production across the continent by 20 to 25 percent. Opel's factories in Eisenach and Bochum, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium were considered to be at risk as GM was still considering whether to close them entirely or start production of new models that could maintain local operations.

The Antwerp plant is one of the major problems the US-based manufacturer has to resolve before starting Opel's restructuring process. The facility was at risk from a long time ago as Magna International, the Canadian - Austrian partsmaker that was believed to take control of the German brand, was also considering shutting down local production.

GM is yet to make a decision on this factory and its options include starting production of a new SUV and cut only a part of the workforce. However, a different scenario, in which GM would close the doors of the plants and lay off all employees, is also possible.

In a statement released last week, Nick Reilly, Opel/Vauxhall CEO, said that GM wants to reduce European capacity by somewhere between 20 and 25 percent.

"We are still finalizing the details on the plan, and that is why next week I will be back in Brussels, meeting with EU representatives as well as governmental officials from the five countries where we have plants," he said in the statement.

"I have been on this job for only 10 days, but I am keenly aware that we cannot let this situation linger. Time is not on our side. I cannot make excuses for things done in the past, but we can move forward. I intend to present by mid-December a sustainable plan that is in the best interest of Opel and Vauxhall; one with clearly defined, achievable results."
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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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