A day after GM’s announcement to close down most of its Bochum plant, Germany’s vice chancellor and economy Minister Philipp Rösler blamed GM’s management for Opel’s misery. German carmakers like Volkswagen, BMW or Daimler are relatively unaffected by the European contagion, because they are successful in export markets. “It has been a mistake that Opel was more or less kept out of the growth market China,” Rösler told the Rheinische Post. “There will be no financial help, because it won’t solve the management problems.”
Interim CEO Thomas Sedran was surrounded by a phalanx of security guards when he made his very short announcement yesterday. Outside, an armada of police was ready to intervene. The workers were peaceful, the security guards were not. A shop steward was knocked to the floor and choked by security guards, works council chief Rainer Einenkel told Der Spiegel. The union considered going on strike, but decided against it because there will be “short work” anyway in January.