By on May 16, 2012

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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4 Comments on “Decision Close: Opel Will Close Bochum, Keep Ellesmere Port Open...”

  • avatar

    “This ends weeks of hard-nosed gamesmanship, where one plant was played against the other.”

    Funny, only a few weeks ago one of the union leaders was saying that the Opel unions were going to hand together to prevent GM from whipsawing them during negotiations.

    Amazing how quickly lovely rhetoric is kicked to the curb when one’s job/leadership position is on the line.

    • 0 avatar

      Wasn`t it also stated in TTAC just a few weeks ago that two factories would be closing in 2015? I suppose still time for that but Ellesmere Port was slated as one of those to go. Glad the previous information was wrong.

  • avatar

    GM used China as a lever in these negotiations. The mere thought and threat of Sino assembly of cars was enough to get concessions.
    GM will do the same thing in NA as soon as it is politically possible. Probably next year.

  • avatar

    That’s my Kadette! Or maybe not, I think my ’64 was built in Belgium. And actually my ’64 was a parts car to my ’65. The ’65 had more modern square headlight bezels like the ’66 that Buick imported, but the rest of the car from the grill on back was like the ’64. Tiny little 1 liter motor, very long 4 speed shifter. Rusted to nothing inside of about 6 years. And it seems like everyone of them was the same beige color, not quite tan.

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