By on May 15, 2013


GM won’t punish its German workforce for the uppity behavior of Bochum’s employees. Instead of moving production of the Zafira to UK’s Ellesmere Port, as some expected, production will remain in Deutschland.

According to Reuters, “General Motors’ loss-making European brand Opel will move production of the multi-purpose vehicle Zafira to Ruesselsheim in Germany, shoring up its headquarters as it prepares to close another German site.”

“The decision strengthens the traditional Hessian plant and will increase capacity utilization. Ruesselsheim will thus be the exclusive plant for the two biggest and most sophisticated Opel/Vauxhall model lines,” GM said in a statement.

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5 Comments on “Opel’s Zafira To Remain In Germany...”

  • avatar

    That looks good enough to be a Toyota, which might not sound like a compliment to many, but it is one when I direct it at a GM product. It looks more like a Matrix than an Encore, and that’s a very good thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Much larger and better handling, however – also a good thing. The key defect in this vehicle is this large roundish black pod in the center of the dash where a radio would normally go. It’s covered with dozens of similar and incomprehensible buttons in a random arrangement. Even my tech savvy 16-yo kid could not make any sense of this contraption. If Opel would replace this weird ‘thing’ with a nice old school Blaupunkt and an iPod port, they’d have a hell of a vehicle. Oh, and hiring somebody with a clue about human factors design (while firing the creators of this ‘thing’) would be helpful to prevent future failures of this sort.

      • 0 avatar

        The productions of those “things” is not an exclusive to Opel. When you add so many features to a car that it needs computers to sort them out, you have to bring in computer techs to design the interface and display.

        The more expert the computer tech, the farther removed he/she/it is removed from the non-computer user or minimally-proficient one. What they consider baby-simple in programming terms is mystifying to many drivers with little or no experience, and the techs don’t realize it.

        The ability of someone trained at a high level in science or technology to translate the complexities into simple terms a layman can understand is very rare. The techs need to take a page from marketing and set up focus groups of likely users to test their interfaces, and they’ll understand the problem. Until then, what they consider simple and logical will be as incomprehensible as Egyptian hieroglyphics or hockey’s blue line rules to the rest of us.

  • avatar

    Well, that was one of the least surprising pieces of news I’ve seen in a while. Adding another model to Ellesmere Port would have hurt GM’s ability to periodically and randomly threaten to close it.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, but it was the economically prudent place to put production. Now it’s really hard to see what GM’s end game plan is for Opel. It’s almost like they don’t have a plan and make individual decisions in a vacuum. Some analysts say GM’s stock is depressed by the threat of Treasury’s divestment, but once the shares are sold the stock price will take off. Now I’m wondering which direction.

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