If you think that GM will get a handle on its abundant capacity problems in Europe – abandon all hope. Or rather: Postpone hope for until after 2016, or maybe later. Also, write off any expectations that Steve Girksy would successfully play hardball with German Metalworker Unions. Deadball is more likely. With the decision to move the production of Opel’s Astra volume model from Rüsselsheim to Ellesmere Port, and to shift production from Bochum to Rüsselsheim, the fate of the Bochum plant appeared to be sealed.
German unions declared war. Minutes ago, Opel works council chief Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug announced “an armistice” (Das Handelsblatt) and told German media that Opel will continue making cars in Bochum through 2016. Nobody can be fired, no plants can be closed at Opel until January 1, 2017. Even then, Bochum will remain open. (Read More…)
By Thursday, GM wants to have a definite deal with the Opel unions at least that’s the deadline Steve Girsky has set. The parties are further apart than Dems and Reps over the sequester. Steve Girsky wanted the unions to agree that Opel’s toolmaking, prototype building and central production planning will be outsourced, or moved to GM’s plant in Gliwice, Poland, Der Spiegel says. The unions are rightly horrified. (Read More…)
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.” (Read More…)
GM’s Opel will cease building cars at its German Opel plant. After 2016, no complete cars will roll off the lines at the 50 year old plant. Opel will keep a logistics hub in Bochum. The plant will continue making yet undefined components, Opel’s interim boss Thomas Sedran told German media today. (Read More…)
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 … (Read More…)
Unions reached a last minute deal with Opel: Plant closures and layoffs are off the table through 2016. This according to information given by works council chief Walter Einenkel to the usually reliable Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. (Read More…)
Last Saturday, Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke wanted to address the workers at Opel’s Bochum plant. All he addressed was 2,000 backs as the workers got up and left. (Read More…)
Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke was asked to tell his workers unambiguously whether the Opel plant in Bochum will be closed or remain open. Today, Stracke met with workers in Bochum. He told them that no decision has been made – yet. (Read More…)
What was highly probable yesterday is definite: GM will shift production of the Astra compact from Germany to Ellesmere Port, England. Workers at the UK plant agreed nearly to a man and a woman (approval rate 94 percent) to a deal with GM that keeps Ellesmere Port open and that spells the near certain doom of Opel’s plant in Bochum.
Workers agreed to a four-year deal that freezes wages for two years, and that allows only moderate rises of around 3 percent for the following two years, Reuters heard from a source. The source also said: (Read More…)
Tomorrow, Thursday morning, GM will most likely announce that the new Opel Astra will be built at the Ellesmere Port plant near Liverpool, and no longer in Germany. This ends weeks of hard-nosed gamesmanship, where one plant was played against the other. (Read More…)