A Tesla Model S suffered a total meltdown after being connected to one of the company’s proprietary Supercharger stations in Antwerp, Belgium. While details are scant, local reports state the driver simply went to charge his automobile and returned to a burning wreck a short time later.
Considering the fire department had to totally submerge the ruined vehicle in a pool of water to ensure the car didn’t reignite, the odds of uncovering exactly what went wrong appear slim. But it wasn’t all that long ago that Tesla was pushing over-the-air updates to mitigate a rash of fires that cropped up in the United States and Asia over the past few months. Surely, the manufacturer has some idea of what might have gone wrong.
To stay alive, Opel wants to scale down. The factory in Antwerp is being closed. With amazing results for Opel’s bottom line: Closing the factory costs GM around €400m ($532m) in termination benefits. GM and the unions reached an agreement on the termination benefits earlier this week, reports Reuters. There are 2,600 workers in Antwerp. Now do the math: $532m divvied up amongst 2600 workers is a little bit over $200,000 per worker. Ouch! Wait, there is more pain …
Not surprisingly, the decision to close Antwerp is not sitting too well with Opel’s European Works Council. Their reply: Forget the wage concessions you wanted from us, and which are so critical for Opel’s survival.
Management at Opel wanted employees to contribute €265m annually to the cause. The unions were ready to deal, but wanted shares. Reilly reneged on the shares, which raised union hackles. Now, the offer is off the table. And with it, an essential piece of Opel’s future.
Belgium’s Antwerp can focus on its core competencies as a hub of the diamond trade. Opel will close their plant in the port city of Belgium within the next months, reports Das Autohaus, citing an announcement by Opel. The plant will be closed “to safeguard the future of the company quickly and sustainably.”
Nick Reilly expressed his supposedly sincere condolences: