By on July 10, 2013

Opel_Mokka_1.4_Turbo_ecoFLEX_Innovation_–_Frontansicht,_20._Oktober_2012,_Heiligenhaus (1)

Amid labor unrest in Korea, and a desire to utilize capacity in Europe, GM is moving production of the Opel Mokka (aka, the Buick Encore, and Canada’s Chevrolet Trax) out of Korea and into a facility in Zaragoza, Spain.

Zaragoza, which also builds the Corsa and Meriva, will assemble the Mokka using CKD kits (shipped from Korea) at first. An $80 million investment will be used to bring full production online, and will further secure the estimated 5,800 jobs at the plant.

The Mokka has been a hot seller for Opel, and a rare bright spot in a European car market that has otherwise been in the dumps. But the compact crossover segment that the Mokka competes in relies on low prices, and GM has increasingly come to view Korea as an expensive country to produce cars in.

Unfortunately, it’s bad news for GM’s Korean assembly arm. While the official party line is that the Mokka’s move will free up capacity at GM Daewoo’s assembly plant in Bupyeong for small SUVs like the Captiva, labor relations in Korea have been deteriorating for some time, and this is a way for GM to avoid having to deal with South Korean unions that are not afraid of striking and rioting to get their point across.

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11 Comments on “GM Lands A One-Two Punch As Mokka Moves To Spain...”

  • avatar

    Never really known a union in Spain to be afraid of rioting.

    But so be it, I’m surprised that Gm saw it fit to move production to a country doing so poorly, it’s not like a 3rd world country where people are willing to work for low wages and long hours, these people have experience with unions.

    • 0 avatar

      My guess is that it is exactly because Spain is doing so poorly. It’s like manna from heaven for Spain.

      I would even venture to say that Spain will give GM much needed tax breaks and GM needs that to utilize its over-capacity in Europe so they can make money.

      Other than that, it won’t be long before Europe’s unions will resort to strikes to kill GM (again) like the UAW nailed GM’s coffin shut. It’s well-documented history, for decades.

      The moment GM starts to make a little money and show a little profit, there will be the unions with their collective bargaining hands stretched out demanding to share in the profits. They all want CEO pay.

      If they don’t get their way, they’ll strike and strike again, until they can strike no more. That happened in 2009 when GM went t!ts up.

      Since GM-Europe is a lost cause, it would seem more prudent to me to close these facilities in both South Korea and Spain, make the Mokka in Canada and keep those facilities humming. Canada has done more for GM that Spain ever will, or can.

      But the only thing that matters is that GM makes a profit. So it doesn’t matter how they go, as long as they get there.

    • 0 avatar

      FYI guys MOCO en Spanish means “booger”. So the Opel Booger is coming to Spain. I see shades of the Chevy Nova ( NO VA means doesnt run as we all know from before).

      sillyness who is in charge of checking this stuff? FYI that thing is too small and blobby looking. the encore is nice.

      • 0 avatar

        I know thats the case in mexican spanish, like mecos means… something else. Is the translation the same in Espana?

      • 0 avatar

        NO VA was always just a joke. The car’s name, Nova, means new in Spanish. I’m sure someone will try to morph Mokka into moco as a joke, but it won’t matter, it’ll be seen as a weak joke like no va. Where are the people checking on obscure jokes made from car names? Doing something more productive, I hope.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t know if it was a joke, Nova means new in Portuguese. In Spanish it would have to be Nueva. You think this is weak but you do have to be careful. Mazda’s LaPuta could never sell in Luso-Hispano countries. Pinto is a no go in Portuguese speaking countries.

          When you insist you become the (sore) butt of jokes. Hyundai’s Besta van lost at least a few sales in Brazil as that can mean beast or dumbass, Colgate means hang yourself in Spanish. The list goes on and on.

  • avatar

    somewhere Inaki is singing with joy to his Dulcinea…

    • 0 avatar

      Is Zaragoza far enough north to be Basque country?

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think so. Zaragoza is a crossroads in the middle of Aragon, historically a stopping off point for invading French armies on their way to Madrid.

        Do you think the auto plants might be a target of the Basque independence movement? Napoleon’s troops are no longer a threat, and a couple of Spaniards I’ve talked to seem to think the government in Madrid is the biggest threat, followed by the European Central Bank.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t know, I just thought the reference to “Inaki” was a reference to Ignacio Lopez, the man at the center of the GM-VW corporate espionage scandal who always wanted to establish a car plant in the Basque Country where he hailed from.

          • 0 avatar

            The man who managed to cut $5 billion in annual (recurring) expenses, at GM, the land of beaurucratic hell, in months basically.

            So the GM board in its infinate wisdom choose R. Smiths hand groomed protege over him, he left, took the plans for “Plant X”* with him, “Plant X” being the scandal.

            *If you ever look up how the Plant X concept was supposed to work, GM’s jettisoning of Delphi, Allison, AA and such all begins to make alot of sense, could quite possibly have saved the company, instead the GM way continued until it didn’t.

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