Today, March 21st, workers at Bochum plant, Germany, will vote on Opel’s restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs.
Since 1999, GM has lost $18 billion in Europe and agreed to continue production at the Bochum facility until 2016 and keep part of the plant open as a logistics and parts center, saving 1,200 jobs from the plant’s total 3,000 jobs. If Bochum workers do not approve the turnaround plan, GM will stop production here after 2014.
This restructuring plan is part of GM’s strategy to break-even in Europe by 2016, trimming costs and introducing 23 new Opel products, including the Cascada mid-size convertible, the Adam minicar and the Mokka compact crossover. Three GM German plants have already agreed with the restructuring plan, which guarantees jobs for more than 20,000 workers in Germany in exchange for a salary freeze through 2015.
GM also said that Bochum gearbox assembly will be reduced to two shifts, cutting 700 jobs, after it previously announced that the gearbox production would be ceased completely by the end of this year.
“I frankly don’t know how it’s going to go,” said Steve Girsky, GM vice chairman and chairman of Opel’s supervisory board. “If it fails, it may cost us more in the near-term but it may help us in the intermediate term because car production will end early.”