The Truth About Cars » Ellesmere Port The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:27:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Ellesmere Port Who Will Get Opel’s Zafira When Bochum Closes? Mon, 13 May 2013 11:21:25 +0000

Now that Opel workers in Bochum refused a plan to keep the factory open, now that an intervention by UAW’s Bob King went exactly nowhere, the question is where to move production of the Opel Zafira when Bochum closes its doors by end of 2014.

In the running: Rüsselsheim, Germany, and Ellesmere Port, UK.

Both locations are top options on the lists of GM and Opel managers, Automobilwoche [sub] says.  Opel’s board of management will make a decision by June, which the supervisory board will have to approve.  A member of the supervisory board told Automobilwoche that  “business aspects” speak for Ellesmere Port, however, he hopes  that the Zafira will remain in Germany.  The union has half the seats of Opel’s supervisory board, and we know what the unions hope.

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Asked Whether He Will Close Bochum Plant, Opel Chief Says He Hasn’t Decided Yet Mon, 21 May 2012 11:12:01 +0000

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.

The meeting took place after state premier Hannelore Kraft had called on Stracke “to make a clear statement on his plans,” says Reuters. Pressured by Detroit to stem the bloodletting of Opel, and pressured by Northrhine-Westfalia’s highly popular premier, Stracke took the easy way out.

He said that he would stick to the contracts that forbid plant closures or firing through 2014. However, “in the long term, the company has to be put on a solid footing,” Die Welt paraphrased Stracke.

Ever since GM decided to move future Astra production the Ellesmere Port, the Bochum plant is said to be the first GM will close once it can. Maybe workers will receive an answer on June 28. This is when Stracke will present a business-plan to Opel’s supervisory board.


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Official: GM Lets Ellesmere Port Live. Bochum Likely To Die Thu, 17 May 2012 10:48:12 +0000 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:

“It’s almost certain that one of GM’s German plants will now be closed, probably the plant in Bochum.”

Currently, some Astra production is at Opel’s Rüsselsheim plant in Germany. Beginning in 2015, this will shift to Ellesmere Port. The Polish plant in Gliwice most likely will continue Astra production. It is expected that production of other cars will be shifted from Bochum to Rüsselsheim, with Bochum to be shuttered.

According to a GM statement, the Ellesmere Port plant will run three-shifts at full capacity. GM committed to a minimum of 160,000 vehicles to be produced each year. The company will invest £125 million into the facility and expects to create circa 700 new direct jobs. The agreement comes into force in 2013 and runs through the life of the next-generation Astra, into the early 2020s. Production of the new Astra will begin in 2015. This is also when the current contracts with European unions run out. Until then, all plants must stay open, and all workers must remain working.

Ellesmere Port had been on GM’s target list, but survived again. This also means a continuation revival of the British car industry, this time with a British brand on German cars. Lately, the island has been a preferred location for production by Asian manufacturers, such as Nissan, Toyota, and Tata. Britain now exports more cars than it imports for the first time since 1976.


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Decision Close: Opel Will Close Bochum, Keep Ellesmere Port Open Wed, 16 May 2012 20:50:42 +0000 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.

According to a report in the London Telegraph, workers at the Vauxhall plant voted on Wednesday on concessions. The results of the ballot are not announced yet, but British media treats it as a done deal.

 Reuters says that Opel presented a catalogue of demands “including wage cuts, more temporary workers and outsourcing.”

The Daily Mail already seems to know that “Ellesmere Port and Gliwice in Poland will now become the only two manufacturing centres of the next generation Vauxhall Astra which hits showrooms from 2015.” The paper also is certain that “Opel’s Bochum plant in Germany, which builds the Zafira, is set for closure.”

A Daily Mail source opined that “The German unions will go bonkers.”

The source is probably right. The German Metal Worker union demands pay hikes from all automakers. There already were widespread warning strikes at Audi, BMW, Daimler and parts suppliers. GM and Opel are contractually precluded from closing any Opel plants in Europe through 2014. Jobs are likewise secure. Once plant closures are announced, it will be very tough working with the doomed workforce.


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