By on January 21, 2010

Don’t touch my job. Picture courtesy way2english.com

Belgium’s Antwerp can focus on its core competencies as a hub of the diamond trade. Opel will close their plant in the port city of Belgium within the next months, reports Das Autohaus, citing an announcement by Opel. The plant will be closed “to safeguard the future of the company quickly and sustainably.”

Nick Reilly expressed his supposedly sincere condolences:

“We are aware of the implications that this announcement has for the workers in Antwerp, and their families. We feel with them. It is not an easy decision to make. Rather, it reflects the harsh realities of the current business situation. ”

Whenever Opel plant closures came up, Antwerp had been on top of the list. GM had warned for weeks that the plant’s future was in jeopardy. It was read as an attempt to exert money from the government in Belgium. According to Das Autohaus, the government offered €500m, GM declined.

Reilly hasn’t made it a secret that he wants the group’s planned subcompact SUV to be built in South Korea by Daewoo, where the “Gamma” platform is being developed. Antwerp had been counting on the SUV.

2,300 people lose their job in Antwerp, a total reduction of 8,000 is planned for all of Opel in Europe.

The bulk of the remaining job losses and possible plant closures is expected to hit Germany, says Das Autohaus. The plant in Eisenach and the components plant in Kaiserslautern have been repeatedly declared endangered as endangered species.

In the meantime, Opel’s works council rejected GM’s “Viability Plan VI” as not viable.

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