We have documented how GM and Opel have a hard time separating themselves from the Bochum plant, something that is urgently necessary to address Opel’s dangerous overcapacity. The date to close the plant is being kicked more and more down the road and well past the use-by date of the current and some future Opel CEOs. Currently, it looks like Bochum and gaping wounds will stay open through 2017. Or maybe longer …
GM, Opel and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia started a working group with a noble cause: Create jobs in the region around the Bochum plant. Or rather “work streams on future utilization of the Bochum site.” Said GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky:
“This working group will be all-inclusive, and have as members representatives of all stakeholders who wish to be involved in a positive way for the benefit of our employees and all the citizens of Bochum and NRW. We look forward to contributing our efforts, as well as our financial resources, to this important work.”
If the intent is to lure well paid Opel workers away from Bochum where they will get a few hundred thousand dollars in severance if they sit it out until the bitter end, then good luck.
The working group has an interesting name: “Bochum Perspective 2022.” Which is probably how long it will take to close Bochum. According to current plans. Which can change.
In German auto industry circles, there was a saying: “Wenn man nicht mehr weiter weiss, gruendet man nen Arbeitskreis.” („If you don’t know what to do, launch a working group.”) It’s good to hear that this venerable philosophy is still being practiced at Opel.