GM Working to Save Antwerp Plant

Opel's production facility in Antwerp, Belgium is still at risk as General Motors is currently considering whether to shut down the plant entirely or start building an SUV and eliminate only a part of the local workforce. Nevertheless, the US-based parent manufacturer is apparently planning to save the factory and set up a new team whose main responsibility is to concentrate on the future of the Antwerp plant.

Opel and Vauxhall interim boss Nick Reilly said in a statement that General Motors is looking at ways to reduce uncertainty when talking about various Opel plants.

"In order to unveil our proposals in about three weeks, we must conclude the consultation phase as quickly as possible, reducing uncertainty about the future direction of the company. We have agreed to set up a working group in the future of our Antwerp facility in Belgium,"
he said.

The uncertainty he was talking about was exactly the subject of a statement belonging to the head of the regional Flanders government, Kris Peeters, who urged General Motors to put things straight and make a decision as soon as possible.

"I am not very happy at all that there is a confusion of information, no clarification, and always say something negative about Antwerp. I don't like it at all,"
he said a few days ago.

However, in case GM decides to close the doors of the factory, it might have to face the anger of local workers who repeatedly emphasized that they won't accept a potential closure.

"We will never accept the closure of a production center, nor lay-offs without a social plan," Belgian trade union official Walter Cnop told the protesters in September when Magna was believed to close the factory. "Production must be shared out fairly," he added.
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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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