Even at Germany’s IG Metall metal workers union the daily BILD Zeitung was put aside today to make room for the fancy Wall Street Journal. The paper claims to have talked to “a GM official,” who thinks that all hell is about to break loose at Opel in Germany.
In a nutshell:
- GM is looking at “horrendous” fourth quarter losses from Opel
- Patience at RenCen is running out
- The plants in Bochum, Germany, and Ellesmere Port, England, could get closed.
Said the nameless official:
“There is increasing frustration with Opel and a feeling that the cuts two years ago did not go nearly deep enough. If Opel is going to get fixed, it is going to get fixed now and cuts are going to be deep.”
GM spokesman Selim Bingol told the WSJ that “the official’s comments don’t represent the company’s official stance with the union.”
Germany’s Handelsblatt immediately was on the story and produced the scoop of the day: UAW’s Bob King becomes a member of the Opel Supervisory Board. Neither Handelsblatt in Germany nor the Detroit News in Detroit could get an official confirmation, but received no denial either. The DetN found “ source familiar with the situation” that said it’s true.
Now that’s a new and clever threat: Say ja to the firings, or we’ll sic the UAW on you.
Meanwhile a new enemy is targeting Opel: Hyundai. The Koreans want to gain market share in Germany mainly from Opel and from Ford, writes the Handelsblatt.