General Motors considers making the Cruze at its Opel factory in Poland and other Chevrolet models in Germany in a bid to return its money-losing European operations to profitability.
According to union sources quoted by Reuters, GM is discussing with unions the transfer of some Chevrolet production from South Korea to Opel in Europe in order to make its European plants more efficient.
In exchange, GM would get the green light to apply the cost-cutting measures needed to reverse losses at Opel, which has roughly lost $13 billion since 1999. The plan would be to shift production of the Cruze compact car to Gliwice, Poland, and then transferring current production from the Polish plant to others in western Europe. Opel builds the Astra compact car in Poland.
Another proposal under discussion is to bring production of the Chevrolet Orlando MPV to Opel’s Bochum plant in Germany, which currently builds the Zafira minivan. The Bochum facility has long been tipped to be the plant most likely to be closed.
Germany’s IG Metall union also wants the Chevrolet Captiva and the Opel Antara SUVs to be brought to Bochum. Opel’s union also wants the new Mokka small SUV built in Zaragoza, Spain. GM exported around 250,000 cars to Europe from South Korea in 2011.