By on February 9, 2010

Opel’s Nick Reilly today revealed details of Opel’s long-awaited business plan. Here are the highlights (and low points) as reported by Automobilwoche [sub].

  • 8300 jobs in Europe will be lost. 7000 of them blue collar, 1300 white collar. 50 percent of them in Germany. Belgium will lose 2,377 jobs,  Spain 900 jobs, more than 500 are slated to be cut in Britain.
  • Antwerp will be closed.
  • Production of transmissions in Bochum (1,800 jobs) and Rüsselsheim (862 jobs) will be stopped and “partially” moved to other Opel plants.
  • Production capacity of Opel will be reduced by 20 percent.
  • Eisenach, which was on the list of endangered species, will lose only 300 jobs.
  • By 2014, Opel wants to have renewed 80 percent of its portfolio of cars. 2010 will see 8 new product launches, amongst them the Meriva, Corsa, Movano and Astra Sports Tourer. Four more will follow in 2011.
  • Until 2014, Opel wants to invest €11b into new development, especially into alternative power trains. Apart from the previously announced Volt-clone Ampera there will be another range-extended vehicle and some smaller pure plug-ins.
  • Opel is seeking €2.7b in government support. €1.5b of the aid is  supposed to come from Germany, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
  • The restructuring plan requires €3.3b. Of this, GM has already paid $600m. Furthermore, GM has prepaid €650m for engineering work, reports the Swiss magazine Cash. Translation: GM won’t sink another dime into Opel. Possibly, they want some money back.
  • According to the plan, Opel will stop losing money in 2011, and will start making money in 2012.

This plan, especially the last point, will receive heavy scrutiny in the next days and weeks. One tough question that will be asked: Where does Opel want to find the €11b for new investments if the severance package for the fired workers will eat up most of the €2.7 in government aid – if there will be any or enough government aid?

German Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle and British Business Minister Peter Mandelson had said at a joint press conference last Friday that they would “carefully consider” any appeal for aid immediately after a business plan had been presented. German politicians are on record that they want GM to put “a lot of money”on the table before state aid would be considered. That money is nowhere to be found in the plan presented. The unions have already said that they vehemently oppose Reilly’s plan.

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12 Comments on “Opel Has A Plan. Looks Pretty Rotten...”


  • avatar
    AnthonyG

    If the various governments don’t come up with the cash – all the jobs will go.

    They can’t let that happen, so I guess they will cough up in the end.

    Opel has too many factories for its market share – particularly in Germany.

    BTW, its blue/white ‘collar’, not ‘color’, unless Opel employs Smurfs and Pandorans as well as Europeans!!

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    but with every job they keep at Opel, VW et all will lose jobs or at least won’t create jobs. It is a zero sum game. That’s exactly why the EU opposes such subsidies. In the end not more cars will be purchased (at least not on average… C4C is just a cheat) or needed.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Yes, and not. Say VW gets needs the extra production capacity. It won’t likely be in the countries that are using it. That is why there is a desire to save the jobs. Total jobs maybe the same, but where those jobs are is a very different reality.

  • avatar
    european

    theres no plan

    “By 2014, Opel wants to have renewed 80 percent of its portfolio of cars. 2010 will see 8 new product launches, amongst them the Meriva, Corsa, Movano and Astra Sports Tourer. Four more will follow in 2011. ”

    1. the new meriva can be seen on opel.de, looks ugly & cheaper than
    a astra (interior at least)
    2. movano is a moVANo (didnt know so had to google),
    –> so no1 cares about that
    3. why a new corsa, the current one is still fresh, no?
    4. astra sports tourer? why bother…

    nothing there i would even remotely consider buying…

    • 0 avatar
      Znork

      1. That’s because it is alot cheaper.
      2. Yes.
      3. No, it came out in 2006. It’s getting old.
      4. Out of all Astra’s I see, 75% are wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      european

      1. outgoing Meriva model from 15,100E, brand new Astra model from 15,900E, hows that ALOT??? cheaper?

      3. yes yes they now will give it just a facelift and the new frontlights. what they did with the new astra, it got the insignia frontface, and now the insignia doesnt look so special and luxury
      as before, more of ordinary, yes yes very good idea!

      4. where do you live????

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The Meriva feels cheaper because it is — it’s a mini-MPV based on the Corsa. If you want an Astra-class MPV, you need to get the Zafira, which does cost substantially more than the Meriva.

  • avatar
    Hippo

    8000 jobs, half in Germany?

    If Opel goes under it probably saves 8000 jobs, all at other German car makers.

    Why give them a single Euro?

    The GM business plan is to get engineering from Opel to sell cars in China so the UAW can keep collecting benefits while sitting on their arse. Plus a few flowers, smoke and mirrors.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Explain to me how Opel selling cars in China helps the UAW? But, lets say that it does. Why would GM be proposing that plan? It isn’t the UAW proposing the plan.

      Why do you think this would save 8000 jobs anywhere else? Companies in Europe are already looking for cheap labor elsewhere.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    - This is not a business plan, it is a list of talking points offering political cover to the Europeans if they agree to throw money at Opel.

    - The €11b is not in the plan because the Democrats are on the skids back home, and the US public does not want to hear that Government Motors is going to suck up yet more of their tax dollars. On the other hand, the US public also doesn’t want to hear that a major chunk of GM, a company they bailed out with previously unthinkable sums, is being closed down (with massive dissolution costs, to boot). That’s why the Europeans have Washington/GM over a barrel.

    I hope we see more of these clearsighted articles about Opel from Herr Schmitt, partly because the price tag associated with creating a new line of competitive vehicles there ought to put to rest the notion that GM kept Opel by choice. The cost makes it clear why GM couldn’t get rid of this albatross before, and is sweating to find government partners now. Washington/GM is not in the driver’s seat, and the hardballing Europeans know it.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The US gov’t isn’t running GM. The investment doesn’t have to come from cash on hand all at once. GM has investment budgets. Opel does a lot of the engineering work. Why wouldn’t they invest there?

      My suggestion would be for GM to get all of the IP and product development from Opel, and divest the rest of Opel, essentially letting that part go bankrupt.

      The US gov’t is putting no more money into GM. If the Europeans are betting that they will, they are mistaken.


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